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I asked around to a few friends in the construction line about putting in a pond but no one seems to have any information or can lead me in the correct direction. I have been tossing around the idea of putting a small pond in at my camp in Venango County.
I have just under 3 acres of property this includes a drive way, a small wooded section, the camp, and approx. 2 acre lot. My thoughts were to put a 1 acre or ¾ acre pond in on that lot. I would think what 15 foot deep? Something that will look nice while creating a fun filled atmosphere for my children to play, fish, and swim.
I have no clue as to where I should start looking to research this project. Does anyone have an idea where I should start to look? Do I need permits, if so from whom? Do I need to get approval from any place? Does anyone have an educated guess as to what a project like this would cost?
Any help at all is greatly appreciated,

Scott
 

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I have been thinking about making a smaller pond on my property also. I have heard one person say you need to get approval from the Army Core of Engineers however I don't see why they would be involved unless it would be in a flood control area. I would check with D.E.P. to see what they say.
 

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Also call the County Conservation District. Yes their are regulations and permits you need depending on the size/size of watershed above the pond. A 3/4 to one acre pond is pretty large and may require a permit or atleast a waiver from the Army Corps (they regulate all US inland waters).
 

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Building any type of impoundment like this is usually a real pain. It will be treated just like any other construction project. Permits may be required for grading, earth disturbance (NPDES for disturbed areas over 1ac.), erosion and sedimentation (E&S). Also, a PNDI search will be required (free) which is the Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory and is used to determine the presence of protected or threatened plant and animal species. If there are species present, this opens up yet another can of worms. Depending on the size, location, drainage area, soil type, and dam height, permits may also be required. If the receiving watershed is a EV or HQ watershed the permitting gets even more stringent. If the area in question is encompassed with hydric soils, a soils scientist will need to conduct a study to determine the extent of possible wetlands onsite. There are a number of other DEP permits known as General Permits that may also be required for a project of this nature including a GP-4, GP-8, GP-15(4,8,15most common) and other permitting under Ch 105. for water obstruction and encroachments. Dam permits will be required if the receiving drainage area is over 100ac., the permanent pool elev. is 15' or more, or the dam embankment is 15' or more.

There are other requirements that are all interlaced in the DEP permitting process and some of the items listed may not be required for your site.

In short, your best bet is to contact a local engineer to get a price for design and permitting.

If I had to take a stab at the cost for design and construction of a 1 acre pond I would say its probably going to be around 80-90k, with the earth work being the bulk of the cost.
 

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In 2004 I built a pond in my front yard approved by the county conservation district 5/8 acre in surface area size for $3,840. Subsequently I bought 3 loads of topsoil for $500 to get the dam to grow grass (made it a clover plot), about $500 to stock water loving creatures and fish, and $200 for some water plants. Total cost about $5,000.

It provides a great view from my front porch set back nicely against the pines. I had the concrete from a silo and slab put in the bottom for structure away from anticipated swimming areas. The maximum depth is 11 ft. It takes quite a bit of space for the dam so to get a 1 acre pond you would use close to 1.5 acres of land. Not all land is suitable for pond construction. You need clay to form the bottom with no shale and rock ledges nearby to form leaks. You also need a good overflow area.

Contact the county conservation district first, they will guide you through the process and even give you a list of available contractors. Good Luck
 

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HomeintheWoods said:
In 2004 I built a pond in my front yard approved by the county conservation district 5/8 acre in surface area size for $3,840. Subsequently I bought 3 loads of topsoil for $500 to get the dam to grow grass (made it a clover plot), about $500 to stock water loving creatures and fish, and $200 for some water plants. Total cost about $5,000.

It provides a great view from my front porch set back nicely against the pines. I had the concrete from a silo and slab put in the bottom for structure away from anticipated swimming areas. The maximum depth is 11 ft. It takes quite a bit of space for the dam so to get a 1 acre pond you would use close to 1.5 acres of land. Not all land is suitable for pond construction. You need clay to form the bottom with no shale and rock ledges nearby to form leaks. You also need a good overflow area.

Contact the county conservation district first, they will guide you through the process and even give you a list of available contractors. Good Luck
How in the world did you manage to build it for $5,000? Was the area on the side of a hill? Did you do the work yourself? Do you have an outlet structure?
In all honesty, $5,000 is nowhere near the norm for pond construction. A precast outlet structure with pipe is gonna run you $3,000 installed.
 

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I built a 3/4 ac pond 2 years ago and I can tell you You should get at least!!!! 5 estimates. Cost varies by site and design. Consider the type of outflow you will need, You could have $1000's in pipe. Spring fed or stream? Soil types and depth to stone,clay, shale etc...TEST DIGS! Compacted dam, 8 foot top means 70 foot base on a 15 foot deep dam. How much freeboard do yuo want. Emergency spillway? Islands, shallow areas, tree structure, rock piles... Small equipment means more hours, big equipment faster yet higher rates. Stock it yoursself from other ponds. What fish do you want? Warmwater species do better in shallow water ponds. No need for 15 feet for bass. Just some quick thoughts. Big thing is to find those that can make a pond, anyone can move dirt! Try Phil Hay and sons in Butler.
 

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Dobsonknob said:
Is it legal to catch fish out of a public lake or river in PA and put them in a private pond for stocking?
Yes. But not ideal. To get a good population of fish a biologist is in order. If the right fish are stocked at the wrong time everything will fail. It usually starts with the smallest fish an goes from there. Just throwing in fish probably won't work in most instances. Most times to get enough fish you must buy them. If you don't get expert advice you are probably going to waste money. Most likely to get stunted fish. It would be far easier (and cheaper) to pay a few hundred bucks for the advise of a biologist.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
WOW that is a great sight thanks! And thanks for all of the replies, time, and input that you all are sending my/our way. This thread really turned me in a bunch of different directions. There is a lot more to it than I feel that I am able to do on my own. I’m going to call some people with knowledge such as Phil and Sons, get some estimates and go from there. I was going to call and get it stocked, but I understand what you are saying about contacting a Biologist to create a balance. I can’t say that I disagree. There is some great information here I really appreciate it.

Thanks,

Scott
 

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Feel free to post your questions about pond management on the Pond Boss sight. You'll get great advice on there and may not even need to consult a biologist. The basics are pond management aren't rocket science! HAHA
 

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Buk Huntir - Hired the work done. Area was destined to be a pond so that did minimize the amount of cubic yards of material that needed to be moved. The overflow was designed to fit into the existing water movements of the area so it really is simple.

Stocking fish from other ponds can be done but its not the way to get a balanced mix of species from known heritages.
 
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