Records Pond, also known as Laurel Lake, was created in 1900 with the completion of the Records Pond Dam on Broad Creek. Although Records Pond is just over 90 acres, it is one of the larger lakes in Delaware. Almost at sea level, and with a maximum depth of 10 feet, the pond is relatively shallow.
The Broad Creek watershed is comprised of about 75,000 acres in southwestern Sussex County. The 20-mile long creek flows through Trussum and Records Ponds to the Town of Laurel, then continues northwest to the Nanticoke River southwest of Seaford.
Runoff from agricultural and residential areas caused high bacteria levels in Delaware’s Records Pond. As a result, DNREC added the pond to the 303(d) List for bacteria. Watershed stakeholders provided technical assistance and installed agricultural BMPs in the pond’s watershed, causing bacteria levels to decline. As a result, DNREC removed Records Pond from the state’s 2008 list of impaired waters for bacteria.
Monitoring data collected in the late 1990s indicated that Records Pond failed to meet the state’s Enterococcus bacteria numeric criterion, which requires that the annual geometric mean be less than 100 colony-forming units per 100 milliliters. The pond did not support its freshwater primary contact designated use, prompting the state to add the pond to Delaware’s 303(d) List.
In 2006 the EPA developed a TMDL to address the nutrients and bacteria loading throughout the Broad Creek watershed, which includes Records Pond. To achieve TMDL targets and meet water quality standards in the pond, the TMDL required a 30% reduction in nitrogen and a 50% reduction in phosphorus loadings.
The Sussex Conservation District offered technical assistance to the farming community by providing nutrient management planning and cost-share funding for agricultural BMPs.
Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program BMPs:
Urban BMPs installed between 2003 and 2012:
Bacteria levels in the pond have decreased in response to the more than 10 years of water quality protection and restoration efforts in the Records Pond watershed. DNREC collected monitoring data at STORET Station 307011 in Records Pond between September 2002 and August 2007. The geometric mean of the 28 samples collected over the 5-year period was 27.2 colony-forming units per 100 milliliters. This was well below Delaware’s freshwater bacteria water quality standard, so DNREC removed the 91.9-acre segment of Records Pond (DE-050-L04) from the state’s list of impaired waters in 2008 per its Assessment and Listing Methodology. The Draft 2016 Integrated Report showed that the pond continues to meet the applicable water quality standards for bacteria due to continued restoration efforts in the watershed. Records Pond remains a popular recreation destination.