By Michael Battista
While turning into the College’s main entrance on Pennington Road, some have noticed a new fountain structure in one of the retention ponds on the left side of the gate. It turns out this structure isn’t a fountain at all, but an aerator used to help circulate water.
The aerator, which was constructed as a condition for Campus Town, was made in order to ensure proper storm runoff, according to Head Media Relations Officer Tom Beaver.
“PRC group, the developer of Campus Town, paid for the retention pond,” Beaver said. “It was a requirement for Phase I to ensure the adequate management of stormwater runoff, and was expanded slightly when Phase II was constructed to accommodate the additional development.”
Beaver also said that while the pond has a practical function, it serves multiple purposes.
“The fountain within the retention pond is both ornamental and functional, intended to agitate the water to improve water quality and prevent organic matter from settling at the surface of the pond,” Beaver said.
A retention pond is used to retain water at all times, so the one located on campus helps capture the runoff water from rainstorms. The purpose of the aerator is to help keep algae or other matter from sustaining life on the water.
However, Beaver said this should not cause alarm among students who may worry about the water quality around the College.
“Aerators are commonplace in retention ponds, and the decision to include one, in this case, was not brought about by existing water quality concerns, but rather to limit the likelihood of such problems emerging down the road,” Beaver said.
Beaver also went on to say that aerator is one of many efforts The College is making to ‘go green.’ Implementations such as the new electric vehicle charging stations in the parking deck in Lot 7 and more are all part of a plan started by College President R. Barbara Gutenstein.
“All of this comes on the heels of President Gitenstein’s signing of the Presidents’ Climate Committee, a compact of college presidents from across the country that are taking steps to reduce the carbon footprint on their respective campuses,” Beaver said.
While this new addition has multiple purposes, the College has two more large water sources on campus — Lake Sylva and Lake Ceva. With the two lakes in mind, Beaver said that any additional aerators would not come from the College, nor would it come from Campus Town.
“Currently, there are no plans to install aerators in any of the other lakes on campus,” Beaver said. “Any decision to add additional units would come upon request from the state Department of Environmental Protection or the Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission, both of which hold conservation easements on our lakes.”