The pond at the Dell is not only just a peaceful place to study or relax, the pond actually serves a purpose. A daylighting project in 2003 has restored the stream between Alderman Road and Emmet Street to a natural state complete with meanders and floodplains. The restored stream has all of the physical properties of natural streams, including meanders and floodplains, vegetative swales and riparian buffers. The swales and buffers prevent erosion and filter pollutants and particulate matter from the stream flow. The floodplains serve as an area for stormwater retention as well as further filter the water.
The restored stream then flows into the Dell pond where natural physical, biological, chemical processes improve the quality of the water. The pond removes sediment by settling. Water flowing at a high velocity can carry much more sediment than slowly moving water. By the time water entering the pond has made its way to the outfall, the water velocity has been greatly decreased and therefore most of the sediment that was carried by the stream has been settled out. The pond forebay is designed to remove the bulk of the sediment and is cleaned out periodically. Secondly, the main pond provides sufficient detention to allow for the natural biological cleansing of the water and settling of the finer sediment.
The Dell pond was installed to improve the water quality and flow characteristics of Meadow Creek, which is considered an impaired stream. Meadow Creek suffers from degraded water quality and flashy flow conditions. The water quality has been degraded by sediment, nutrients, iron, and coliform bacteria, which includes fecal coliform found in human and animal waste.