All posts by ashleymelton

Treating Cattails in Jacksonville NC Pond

Limiting growth of aquatic plants like Cattails is critical to the health of your stormwater system. If these plants a allowed to grow uncontrolled, they can quickly create damage costing thousands of dollars to repair.

As part of our Monthly Service, we inspect the pond and immediately move to correct anything that could cause problems before it does.

We’d be happy to meet you at your site and give you an assessment and let you know how we can help!

Please contact us and we’ll meet at your convenience.

8 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes Naturally

Warm weather is finally here and everyone is getting ready for several months of outdoor activities! But nothing can quite ruin the carefree fun of the outdoors like mosquitoes. These pests land on you as you’re trying to enjoy outdoor games with friends, prepare a barbecue meal, and when you’re just working on the lawn or in the garden. There’s nothing fun about swatting mosquitoes off your skin or dealing with the itchiness when one does bite you.

While most of our clients are commercial, we wanted to provide some practical pest control information for you to use at home. Believe it or not, it can be as simple as planting certain types of flowers and plants. Here are eight of the most helpful plants you may want to have at home to help repel mosquitoes naturally:

  • Basil: Not only is Basil a great tasting herb, but it’s also a great mosquito deterrent. Plant or keep basil anywhere in or around your home where you have a mosquito problem. While the garden is the most likely place for basil, it’s also an effective mosquito deterrent on the porch and on windowsills throughout your home.
  • Citronella: This plant helps to deter mosquitoes from biting you when you crush its blades to make a salve. You can apply the salve directly to your exposed skin or combine it with other types of repellent blooms for the most effective pest relief.
  • Floss Silk: The smell of this plant is repugnant to mosquitoes, which means they won’t want to come anywhere near it. Although it can be challenging to grow floss silk in your garden, it’s worth it to have a natural mosquito repellent.
  • Lemon Balm: This plant doesn’t automatically keep the mosquitoes away. However, you can rub its juices on your skins to prevent yourself from providing the pest’s next meal. You will need to pick several fresh lemon balm leaves, crush them with your hands, and rub the plant extract on any skin potentially exposed to mosquitoes.
  • Lemon Thyme: This plant produces a citrus aroma that keeps pesky insects like mosquitoes away. Even better is the fact that it attracts helpful insects such as bumblebees that can make your plants and flowers healthier.
  • Marigolds: Mosquitoes and other types of destructive insects hate the smell of marigold. That is because this flower contains pyrethrum, a chemical used in commercial insect repellent. Marigold is also easy to grow and makes an attractive addition to any garden.
  • Peppermint: Mosquitoes dislike the aroma produced by peppermint and will naturally stay away from it. Like lemon thyme, it has many other uses. One of the most popular ways to use peppermint is as a flavor enhancer or by adding it to tea.
  • Rosemary: Rosemary plants naturally keep mosquitoes out of the garden. You can also combine rosemary with other types of herbs to create a salve to rub onto your skin.

We hope you find these plant and flower recommendations useful as ways to ward off mosquitoes naturally. If you know of any other natural repellents, we’d love to hear about them! Just leave a comment below.

Spring Weed Control in Retention Ponds

When you have a pond or other body of water on your residential or commercial property, controlling weeds is an ongoing issue. Below we discuss some of the most common types of weeds found in North Carolina and the hazards they create.

Alligator Weed Control

Alligator Weed picture Alligator weed (Alternanthera Philoxeroides) typically grows along the edge of the water in floating mats. You can recognize it by a distinct midrib and lance-shaped leaves between one and two inches long that grow opposite one another. The stems remain hollow when the weed grows aquatically. The floating mats of alligatorweed can cause a bottleneck around dams. This weed also harbors mosquitos and detracts from the aesthetic value of the pond. It is most
common around boat ramps because it adheres to the bottom of the boat and boaters spread it through the water unintentionally.

Herbicides and the limited use of certain insects are the best way to control alligatorweed. However, success with both flea beetles and stem borer moths has been limited due to the insects’ inability to survive the winter.

Giant Salvinia / Salvinia Molesta

This free-floating fern appears green, gold, or a range of colors in between. With young plants, the leaves lie flat on the water. Leaves can grow up to two inches and double in size in less than
10 days. Like alligatorweed, salvinia molesta is often spread from the bottoms of boats.

This weed can cause great damage to aquatic ecosystems as it can grow up to two feet in length, preventing vegetation underneath from growing properly. Waterfowl, wading birds, reptiles, and other water creatures will have trouble finding a food source if this weed grows uninhibited. The indigenous weevil bug is the most effective at controlling the spread of salvinia molesta.

Hydrilla Verticillata /Hydrilla

This plant is so aggressive in its damage that the USDA bans its entry into the country. However, it still grows in North Carolina as a noxious aquatic weed. You will recognize its long roots protruding from the water. It can creep as far as 10 feet below the surface. Some of the problems it causes include habitat alteration, intake fouling, and the inability of people to use the water for recreational purposes. The best way to prevent the spread of hydrilla is for people to check the bottom of their boats when docking and taking off from a dock.

Ludwigia Grandiflora / Creeping Water Primrose

Creeping water primrose has bright yellow flowers, making it easy to spot in ponds, lakes, and rivers. It first forms a wooden mat before turning woody and forming stocks. When this type of primrose become dense, it provides mosquitos with a large breeding ground. It also degrades the quality of water, making it unhealthy for wildlife and fish to consume. Herbicides are the only known methods of control for this water weed.

Myriophyllum Spicatum / Eurasian Watermilfoil

Eurasian watermilfoil is a top offender because it can form large infestations and survive in a wide variety of water conditions. Its leaves are branched, short, and resemble feathers. This weed generally grows thick mats and develops tiny floral spikes that appear just above the surface of the water. Because it’s resistant to cold temperatures, the Eurasian watermilfoil starts growing early in the spring season and can prevent vegetation from getting the proper amount of sunlight. It’s a low-quality source of food for waterfowl and it degrades water quality overall.

Chemical and biological control are the best ways to prevent this weed from emerging and killing it when it does. Herbicides are only minimally effective.

Protect Your Retention Pond with a Weed Control Program Now

Regular monitoring and maintenance of your retention pond is vital to preventing costly repairs. If you recognize these weeds or aren’t sure if you’re dealing with water weeds or not, contact Stormwater Solutions Group to discuss a prevention and weed control program. With spring officially underway, this is the best possible time to do so.

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What is a Retention Pond?

A retention pond is a pond or basin that is put into place to catch the water from a higher elevation. Retention ponds are manmade and use the run off from rain and melted water. There are many people who have retention ponds added to their landscaping for several reasons.

Why Have a Retention Pond?

There are several reasons why retention ponds are designed, and we will go over a few of the most important and popular reasons.

• Pollution Control

There are many areas where there are natural lakes. If there is a storm or in an area where there is a lot of rain or snowstorms, the retention ponds serve a very important purpose. If the excess water is caught in the retention pond it has time to sit. When the water stays in one area the pollutants in the water will settle to the bottom of the pond. With the pollutants at the bottom the water that runs into the lake is much cleaner. This technique is used all over the world. Studies have proven that as much as 80% of toxins can be removed from water with the use of retention ponds.

What are Some of the Pollutants Removed with Retention Ponds?

Some of the pollutants that collect at the bottom of the retention ponds will differ depending on where the retention ponds are located. If a retention pond is built in areas where the population is high the toxins can include:

• Fertilizers from neighbor’s lawn.
• Salt from the streets.
• Gasoline and oils that are on the streets.
• Antifreeze
• Animal droppings
• Herbicides and more.

With all the above toxins that are removed, it is important that we use retention ponds just for safety reasons. Retention ponds are the most natural and effective way to remove pollutants from water.

• Landscaping

Many homeowners use retention ponds to add to the value of the home. Beautiful retention ponds add to the elegance of landscaping and become the peaceful area of the property. Sound of trickling water add to the serene landscaping where it is a pleasure to relax.

Retention Pond Design

Retention ponds can be designed for the specifics reasons in which they are being used for. If a municipal is using retention ponds for pollutant removal, then a certified engineer will be hired. It is important that the runoff water is cleaned before running into lakes and ponds that will be used for human consumption.

As for building a retention pond for your personal landscaping project then this can be completed by personal choice. It is important to remember that this pond will function with runoff water, so the water needs to come from a higher elevation.

Retention Pond Maintenance

If the retention pond is used in towns and cities, it will be cleaned every couple of years. Retention ponds built for personal landscaping will also need maintenance based upon the size and area of the pond itself.

All detention ponds will need the following maintenance.

• Vegetation around the pond will have to be kept pruned so that it doesn’t become overgrown and unmanageable. If there are trees beginning to grow it is best to remove them before they become a big problem and must be removed when bigger. Vegetation around the pond is good if it doesn’t become overgrown.
• Debris and silt will need to be removed when it builds up.
• Inspections are needed on retention ponds to make sure that they are working properly. Inspect the exhaust, the weir, and headwall.
• Visually inspect the storm drains to make sure they are not blocked with debris or silt.

BioRetention Cell in Beaufort NC

Stormwater Solutions visited a bio retention cell in Beaufort, North Carolina. The stormwater device is located on Pivers Island and operated by Duke University. We were on site removing weeds from one of the devices so it can continue to correctly infiltrate. The bio retention cell has two different types of sandy media and both are topped with a thin layer of mulch. The grass and weeds if left alone would have obstructed the device from infiltrating like it should. We cannot use any heavy equipment which could possibly compact the media.

Bioretention cells are designed to capture and treat the first flush of runoff from impermeable surfaces. Since this first flush of runoff contains a large portion of the pollutants, it is captured and infiltrated into a soil profile like the one described above. Here, the runoff is treated and released to the local ground or surface water.

Alligatorweed Infested Pond in Jacksonville NC

This retention pond in Jacksonville NC is infested with alligatorweed.  Alligatorweed which grows quickly is very invasive and will choke out other vegetation. This pond has been taken over and the alligatorweed has obstructed flow around the outlet structure. While it’s blooms are aesthetically beautiful and fragrant, it is very invasive and needs to be removed. It typically grows in shallow water but once a floating “mat” is formed, water depth doesn’t matter.

Stormwater Solutions Group is a licensed aquatic pesticide operator and will treat the nuisance vegetation. Treatment may need to be reapplied to prevent possible spreading.


Stormwater Violation Letter for New Bern Pond







New Bern, NC received a notice of violation on this stormwater retention pond from DWQ (Division of Water Quality) out of the Washington, NC branch. The stormwater device was severely overgrown with heavy vegetation. The  swells leading to the pond had 4 inch pine trees growing in them.

Stormwater Solutions has been on site draining the pond and removing the vegetation from the pond  banks and swells. In the coming week, we will work closely with an engineer to get the pond back into compliance. We will reshape the banks, remove the sediment , stabilize and add wetland plants.


Algae In Eastern NC Ponds

Ponds in Eastern North Carolina are great growing areas for algae. These ponds in Jacksonville NC are infested with new algae blooms. Fertilizers, parking lot contaminants, etc. make this a perfect breeding ground for this type of algae.

Stormwater ponds are designed to take this abuse. They act as a huge filter, cleaning the water as it is slowly released.



Algae bloom occurs after large rain events and has to be managed, Stormwater Solutions Group is experienced and equipped to handle this problem. Give us a call today to service your pond.

Algae Bloom Clogs Outlet Structure


Algae bloom has covered this pond in Jacksonville, NC and has caused the orifice to get clogged. The outlet structure needs to be functioning to allow for stormwater overflow.

In this picture, we are unclogging the outlet structure . We unclog the outlet structure so the water can begin to flow. The Pond should return to normal levels soon.

Algae bloom occurs after large rain events and has to be managed, Stormwater Solutions Group is experienced and equipped to handle this problem. Give us a call today to service your pond.

Major Pond Repair for Puller Place Apartments

Major pond repair was needed for Puller Place Apartments in Jacksonville, NC.  After the last rain event, a sink hole washed out on the east bank. During inspection, engineers discovered that the pond didn’t have an emergency spillway. Emergency spillways are critical when rainwater comes down in amounts that the pond can’t handle. Large amounts of water will find a way to keep flowing, causing erosion issues in its pathway.

After taking elevation shots, Stormwater Solutions re-graded the area and constructed an emergency spillway. With the completion of the emergency spillway, the pond should function as intended and eliminate future washouts.