City of Madison

City of Madison Engineering | Photo Credit: Archie Nicolette


Part of the Owen Park greenway system was identified as a critical area for erosion several years ago. In fall 2007, three stormwater retention ponds were constructed northeast of the intersection of Jetty Drive and Inner Drive. The ponds reduce sediment deposition by 65%. One of the ponds is designed exclusively for habitat restoration, and will be directly managed by Parks staff.


Prior to construction of the ponds, stormwater travelled from four discharge locations off of Jetty Drive into Owen Park into an eroded greenway system. This high-velocity discharge caused considerable erosion in the park, which caused sedimentation problems downstream.

There are now three separate (but connected) retention basins that were designed to remove total suspended solids while also reducing the erosive velocities and peak flows to downstream waterways.

The first two ponds of the regional system (top two photos) were designed to provide the primary stormwater treatment, with depths of 12 and 15 feet.

The third pond (bottom photo) is designed to handle a portion of the stormwater from the second pond, but its primary purpose is for wildlife habitat and conservation research. There are butterfly valves on the two 18-inch pipes at the entrance and exit of the pond. The valves provide manual control of the water elevation for this pond. The normal depth of the pond is 7 feet, when both valves are open.

Owen Park Pond

Owen Park Ponds

Owen Park Pond