Should law require fencing around retention ponds?

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- A two-year-old boy has passed away after falling into a retention pond inside his High Point apartment complex.

The pond had no fence around it and some parents are surprised that, under current law, there doesn't have to be one.

Saline Hammond, a mother of a two-year-old, says property owners should want to keep all people safe on their property, especially at apartment complexes.

"You want families to come live at your apartment complex. And you want safety to come first for all of your tenants," she said.

In High Point, Greensboro and Winston-Salem, there is no law stating that retention ponds must have fences. City staff in each location tells us, when the city builds ponds on its properties, it does opt to put up a fence.

Keith Huff, director of Stormwater/Erosion Control for Winston-Salem, says he can recommend a private property owner put a fence around their pond, but cannot mandate it as the law stands now.

Huff notes that retention ponds can attract young children and prove very dangerous.

"If you have an area that's close to children, you would want to have a fence there to keep out young children," he said.

In Lexington, city officials say they passed a law in 2010 requiring that newly-built retention ponds have fences. However, many of the existing ponds in the city were grandfathered in and were not required to add fences.