Planning a pond or lake means preparing and planning for the 100 year rain storm. The what if scenario of bad weather, rain storms , snow melt even hurricanes can provide such an abundance of water that the pond system may not be able to handle the in coming water, down pipe or even your spillway, such as what is happening in Buffalo NY this weekend. This could end up being the point of over topping the dam where erosion could start and eventually wash the dam away.
When it comes to safety of the dam and the pond system be sure to built a large enough spillway to handle the worst of storms, but even at that with 7′ of snow falling in a few days with warm temps and rain following could exceed your spillway. If you think the spillway is too small on the pond or lake consider making it larger or making a secondary spillway.
Saying that I just wanted to add a link to the latest news on the Buffalo are and the dangers that are in the forecast for all the residents, professional workers and volunteers helping the to dig out and care for those in need during the events to unfolds for the next few days.
Buffalo New covers the snow removal, roof collapses and creek flooding.
As we know water is rather heavy but when snow has accumulated and rain starts tot fall the snow acts like a sponge soaking up the rain and creating even more weight on the roves of buildings, houses and out buildings which my have not been designed for this type of weight. Most houses are designed with snow loads, but places that received 6-7′ of snow was most likely not expected.
Just be careful whether you are out there helping or waiting to be rescued and look back at this in the future if you should be planning a pond or lake project.