City News

Posted on: April 12, 2017

City of Buda Takes Innovative Approach to Solve Beaver Problem in Retention Pond

Beaver Dam Resize Pic

City of Buda Takes Innovative Approach to Solve Beaver Problem in Retention Pond
Buda Partners with the Texas Cooperative Wildlife Services Program      

When it comes to the weather in Central Texas, you never know what you’re going to get. One of the biggest threats in our area is torrential flooding.

You’ve probably noticed several rainwater retention ponds throughout the City, or even in your neighborhood.  Although many homeowners view these structures as pleasing aesthetic features that add a touch of nature to their neighborhood, the true function of a retention pond is to hold and distribute rain runoff, which in turn helps prevent flooding. One of these retention ponds is located on Garlic Creek Drive in the Garlic Creek Subdivision. Recently we’ve been faced with a dilemma.

The Garlic Creek Retention Pond has become an attractive home for beavers. The problem? The beavers have built a dam that is blocking the pond drain. This compromises the function of the retention pond to hold and distribute rain runoff, posing a potential flooding threat. So therein lies the dilemma. How do we address this problem and protect the beavers at the same time?  We’re taking an innovative approach.

The City of Buda is partnering with the Texas Cooperative Wildlife Services program to install a beaver-friendly flow control structure in the retention pond.

“What it does is it extends a pipe out to the middle of the retention pond and pulls the water underneath their dam and puts it farther out to where they don’t hear the water trickling anymore, “ said Jennifer Hall,  Buda Animal Control Officer. “By bypassing their actual dam, it causes the beavers not to be able to hear the trickling water.  When they hear the trickling, they pull the dirt and all the debris from underneath. They patch it and that causes the water to rise.”    

The structure is made up of a series of pipes which will extend through the beaver dam. This will allow water to continue to flow through the dam during periods of high water, while maintaining the pond level as designed.

“This innovative approach will protect the wetland, wildlife and the neighborhood,” said Mike Bodenchuk, Texas Wildlife Services Director.

Personnel from the Wildlife Services program and the City will install the structures during the week of April 10th.  The structures have been specifically designed for the Garlic Creek Retention Pond. Wildlife officials say the installation should only take a day.  

“We will evaluate the structures and if they perform as designed, the design may be included in future retention ponds to prevent the risk of floods while maintaining wetland characteristics,” said Bodenchuk. “Because the approach is relatively new, we will also work with wildlife groups to use this as a demonstration site for community coexistence with wildlife.”  

In Buda “Breathe Easy Here” isn’t just a slogan. It’s a way of life. We strive to take a proactive and disciplined approach in our planning process to ensure that Buda’s quality of life, environment, and family-friendly culture are preserved.    

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