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Retention vs Detention Basin

Rainwater can overwhelm residential, commercial, and government properties and cause expensive damage due to soil erosion and flooding. One of the effective ways to deal with rainwater, including rainfall during severe weather, is a basin. The core concept of a basin is a designated area where stormwater can be collected and therefore not devastate the property. There are two primary types of basins, and with that in mind, let’s compare retention vs detention basin solutions.

What Is a Retention Basin?

Retention is the act of retaining, and a retention basin or pond is a man-made reservoir intended as a permanent pool of standing water. A retention pond can serve a number of purposes. It can be an artistic addition to a property that integrates seamlessly into the natural environment. Retention basins can also serve more functional purposes, such as saving water for use during drier periods or to treat polluted storm water before it’s allowed to flow into another body of water.

What Is a Detention Basin?

Detention is the act of holding back. The goal of a detention basin or pond is to slow the flow of water in order to avoid flooding and soil erosion. This approach is particularly effective at dealing with heavy rain that can overwhelm a property that otherwise has no issues with rainwater infiltration. Detention basins will have one or more outlets that allow water to flow out of the basin, and the design of those orifices can be chosen to dictate the rate that the landscape and/or drainage solutions can handle.

Retention vs Detention Basin: Differences

The main difference when comparing a retention vs detention basin is that the retention basin is designed to contain water permanently whereas a detention pond is designed to hold it back just long enough to prevent damage. A detention basin will be dry most of the time and wet only while it’s raining and a short time after. A retention basin will be wet most of the time and only dry when that collected water is needed for another purpose.

Retention vs Detention Basin: Similarities

The main similarity when comparing a retention vs detention basin is that they’re both man-made reservoirs that are highly effective at handling storm water. Both drain as well. A detention basin has an orifice that is level with the base of the basin so that all water drains. A retention basin, on the other hand, has an orifice set at a height needed to achieve the desired water level. Both types of basins require maintenance, including keeping them free of debris, trash, plant life, and so forth.

Retention or Detention Basin Installation

If you own a home or commercial property in the Delaware Valley and are considering having a retention or detention pond installed, AWS can help. We specialize in a full range of residential and commercial waterproofing services, including exterior drainage design and installation, stormwater infiltration systems, and water recharge systems. Contact us today to schedule a free on-site consultation or with any additional questions about retention vs detention basin solutions.


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