I am interested in creating a pond on my property. What should I take into consideration prior to submitting an application?

An application to create a pond should be made after careful consideration of the future pond’s support system, e.g., the size and condition of the watershed contributing to the pond, the depth of the pond, and how often it will be fully flushed (water flowing in completely replaces the volume of water in the pond). Ponds should be at least eight feet deep and have side slopes of 1:3, with more shallow slopes for the first 18 inches of depth. This baseline design information will determine the minimum size the pond should be. If there is a small area contributing overland flow to the pond or if the pond is in a stream which flows for only part of the year, the flushing rate will be low and the likelihood nuisance algal blooms and floating vegetation will increase. Similarly, the nature of the landscape contributing overland flows will influence the presence of algal blooms and floating vegetation. 

Management of fertilizers, pet waste, impervious surfaces, and failing septic systems on your property and those of your neighbors will make a difference. The pond should be designed with habitat goals in mind not just aesthetic goals; i.e., there should be a buffer area of tall, native grasses or the like between the lawn and the water’s edge to keep lawn chemicals and clippings out of the pond and to discourage geese from congregating. Creation of a pond requires approval of the IWWA and the application documentation will require professional assistance. Larger ponds and larger streams with more extensive watersheds may require additional permits from the Army Corps of Engineers. Generally speaking, creation of a pond in an otherwise healthy wetland is not in the best interest of the wetland, thus obtaining a permit will be difficult.

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1. I am interested in creating a pond on my property. What should I take into consideration prior to submitting an application?
2. Can I put yard debris in or next to wetlands?
3. I want to “clean up” an area of scrubby vegetation on my property. Do I need a permit?
4. I want to install a deer fence. Do fences require an IWWA permit if it’s in a regulated area?
5. Is a permit required to remove trees?
6. My septic system is failing. Do I need a permit if the repair is located within IWWA regulated areas?
7. What if I am in violation of the regulations?
8. When do I need a permit from the IWWA for my residential property?
9. Within the 100/150-foot regulated buffer, how close to the wetland or watercourse can I build and/or landscape?