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Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 6
Z
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I have a 1/2 acre pond. Here's the scenario...
On the south side: Road 15 yards away
On the east side: Driveway about 5 yards away
On the west side: Property line about 8 yards away
On the north side: Hill going up to yard & house

According to the previous owner, this pond was kind of an afterthought... it was a low area that always flooded, so he took a backhoe and dug this 4-5ft deep pond.

It stays pretty topped off and every time it rains of course it overflows. The land has a LOT of clay in it, so needless to say it can take weeks for the water level to go down. It's starting to look pretty bad and it's impossible to grow any grass around it, there are even cattails growing in our yard!

I'm no expert but it seems that it needs some sort of drainage system. The most logical fix would be to drain it to the ditch by the road, which it sometimes overflows into anyway.

However, I live on a major 4-lane highway and I'm sure there's got to be something illegal about doing that, and I'm hoping someone will tell me it's possible...

And if so, who would I need to contact for permission, is it something they'll allow me to do myself, and what would be the best (and cheapest) way to go about it? I assume I would basically dig a trench and lay a pipe in it with some sort of grate so nothing too big can go through?

Any suggestions would be helpful.

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Z28, any chance you can drain (or pump) to your back pond, Redirecting surface or impunded water to state or county maintained areas can be difficult at best to get anyone to give you a thumbs up.Good Luck

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I had an answer for you until I saw you are in Michigan! Oooooh Boy! Definitely contact your highway department or local government before you do anything or you may regret it. I know Michigan has some of the toughest environmental laws of any state. In fact they go way overboard IMHO. IMHO your DEQ (Department of Environmenal Quality) is made up of a bunch of (I won't say it on this board) but I've heard horror stories from fish farmers in your state.

Most likely you will need a permit if you can get one.

Be careful. I know of someone that was draining his pond in your state, and ran the overflow into a local highway ditch. A do gooder neighbor complained to the DEQ, and since he didn't have a permit he was fined $11,000. The water wasn't harming a thing. Some people just dont' have anything better to do.

Logistically what kind of distance are we talking from the pond to the highway ditch? From my experience I would either go with an open trench if your soil has a lot of clay to keep erosion down, or a smooth bore pipe. I've used the black drainage pipe that is corrigated and will never ever install that stuff again. Debris collects in the ridges over time, and just keeps on building until your flow either decreases or it plugs completely. Smooth bore pipe is much less likely to do that. Size of the pipe depends on how fast your pond backs up.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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Thanks for the input. There's about 14 yards between the pond and the ditch. I'll contact the road commission (?) on Monday and hopefully that'll be a good starting point in finding out whether I can do this.

Yes, unfortunately Michigan is very protective of bodies of water, amongst other things... someone even told me that I could be fined for disturbing the natural growth of the cattails in my pond!! Whether or not that is true I don't know. I cut them down anyway.

forevergreen, I did buy an electric submersible pump that I use from time to time to pump the water to the back pond, but having to go up and over the hill is tough for my pump and it barely makes a dent in the water level. It would be expensive to have a permanent system installed I imagine... having to run electricity and pipes underground that far.

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If you get away with it a ditch dug by hand that is no more than 6 inches wide and 6 inches deep would work just fine. Allow grass to grow in it and no one would probably know it's there except for you. You could probably dig it with a spade in nor more than a couple of hours. My 70 year old dad dug one about 350 feet for me in a couple of days. But he's not typical either. He's former green beret.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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 Quote:
Originally posted by Cecil Baird1:
If you get away with it a ditch dug my hand that is no more than 6 inches wide and 6 inches deep would work just fine. Allow grass to grow in it and no one would probably know it's there except for you.
That is exactly what I would suggest.


Bullheads and Carp are the devil~
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UPDATE!

I contacted the drain commission who told me to contact MI dept of transportation since it's a US Highway that the ditch runs along.

After he and some other crews surveyed the site a couple times he gave me the go-ahead to simply install a 4-inch pipe with "rip rap" at the end and also said I could do it myself... or hire whomever I want. I need to get a permit for use of right of way, pay MDOT $90, give them a sketch and hopefully get "final" permission. So far it's gone very smoothly and I'm happy that all I need is a pipe and not some fancy shmancy drainage system.

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be carefull z28melissa. The highway department isnt the only authority you have to talk to. The Army Corp now regulates ditches too. If your going to go legal and involve one gov agency they will make you go through all of them....and each one has to sign off on it. The county, the state dept of fish and wildlife, and the dreded...army corp of engineers. The county just wants money...so if you got enough dough...they should sign off. The Dept of fish and wildlife, and the army corp are your biggest hurtles. Id do it in the spring when grass will grow..and at night...and bootleg it in. Then cover it up with bardust and plantings and/or grass.


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