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Proposed pond in floodplain
#525218 08/26/20 12:46 PM
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I recently purchased a property where there is a low spot with an occasional flow of water. Looking at the flood plain maps this area is in the flood plain recognized by FEMA. See map attached. I would like to build a spillway type dam in the lower portion and dig out and remove trees to create a 7-8 acre lake.

I am trying to do my research and as I understand it I will need to work first with the Army Corp of Engineers (ACoE) in my region to see if a lake can be built within the waterway. Perhaps a flood control or erosion control lake can be built? My local County offical indicated to check with the ACoE if a permit is needed. If one is required then a seperate County permit would have to be issued as well to cover any construction.

As I understand it a plan submitted to the ACoE can be quite difficult and possibly very expensive generate. I am looking for feedback if this is crazy to even consider or is there a potential possibility to get this accomplished? What potential hurdles will I run into and what are the next steps?

BTW - There are two smaller tanks on the property. The larger one is a mess. Trees are growing through the dam and it's more swamp then lake at the moment. Regardless of what I can do in the lower portion of the property this upper pond will have to be addressed/filled in and rehabbed.

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Re: Proposed pond in floodplain
Jim N. #525249 08/27/20 03:02 AM
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I would check with a reputable dam builder about regulations. The words waterway, flood/erosion control seem to generate a lot of governmental interest. Lusk has a Facebook program on Wednesday(I think) nights. You might ask the question there.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: Proposed pond in floodplain
Jim N. #525537 09/04/20 05:24 PM
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Yes I checked with one and he seemed to indicate permits likely would not be required. I realize he wants to build! I just want to make sure I don't run afoul later on which could be quite expensive. I'm producing a package to submit to the ACoE's now. Once that is submitted I hope to hear back within 45 days if it's a thumbs up or down.

Last edited by Jim N.; 09/04/20 05:26 PM.
Re: Proposed pond in floodplain
Jim N. #525544 09/04/20 08:33 PM
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I wouldn't send anything to the ACoE's unless it was absolutely mandatory. Like opening Pandora's box.


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Re: Proposed pond in floodplain
Jim N. #527088 10/25/20 10:04 PM
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Sent a package to the ACOE based on a conversation with the local NRCS contact in the county. The ACOE replied back that no permit was required and I have that in writing now. The NRCS indicated that they would not recommend to build in that area and they would not fund any construction there. Well I really didn't expect them to build my pond anyway so no loss. I am talking with a couple builders now and getting quotes. The one guy believes the site is well setup for a large pond and it's really about how much dirt we have to move. The location has clay like soil and a couple smaller ponds are holding water even in dry periods .

Re: Proposed pond in floodplain
Jim N. #527090 10/25/20 10:49 PM
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You got darn lucky...I wish I would have seen this earlier but the only time you HAVE to contact ACoE is if you are interfering with a riverbank or floodplain directly adjacent to or directly upstream of..a federal (Classified Navigable) stream/waterway.
ACoE could still potentially come back on that because there are several permit types issued..Been through this fight.
Again, I'd say you are lucky.. might want to go buy a lottery ticket also.

Last edited by Snipe; 10/25/20 10:49 PM.

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Re: Proposed pond in floodplain
Jim N. #527293 11/03/20 02:34 PM
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I hear you. The only reason for interacting with them is the NRCC rep thought this was a portion of some system they may be interested in. Essentially they said yes it floods from time to time but not a tributary of anything they are worried about. I'll go buy that lottery ticket!

I'm working on getting quotes now and will see how expensive this might get.

Re: Proposed pond in floodplain
Jim N. #527846 11/21/20 06:26 PM
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That is good to hear. I am closing on some property soon in Grimes county, and have the same thing going on. I was originally going to enlarge the pond that is not in the flood plain, but now I am thinking of putting the pond in the floodway so I don't take up and "good" non flood plain real estate. I was wondering this exact thing about permitting if I messed with the flood plain area. Sounds like I should be just fine.

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satellite view flood zone.jpg (54.66 KB, 13 downloads)
Re: Proposed pond in floodplain
Jim N. #527863 11/22/20 04:03 AM
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Texas can get narrow minded about impeding flood plains that go into the streams then rivers and then to lakes that cities have built for drinking water. Here, it is best to not get caught doing it. I have a spring fed creek that I decide to dam up about 25 years ago. I worked my butt off building a dam. I showed a pic to Mike Otto who grinned and said good luck. Then we got some booming rains that proved to me that I had no idea how to stop flowing water. Next was a 4 year drought that dried up the shallow aquifer. The springs that had run forever have never rebuilt themselves and I now have a seasonal creek.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: Proposed pond in floodplain
Jim N. #527890 11/22/20 03:04 PM
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Jim and BranClan,

Good luck on your projects. Getting past the COE is only the first step.

As Dave points out, "impeding flood plains" almost certainly puts you on the radar of a multitude of regulatory agencies.

I don't know the rules in Texas, but here is the Kansas list of activities in floodplains that draw scrutiny and potential fines.

(c) “Development” means any man-made change to real estate, including, but not limited
to:
(1) buildings or other structures;
(2) mining;
(3) dredging;
(4) filling;
(5) grading;
(6) paving;
(7) excavation or drilling; or
(8) storage of equipment or materials.


After you get past the floodplain management regulations, you run into the levee regulations.

Basically, it is normally easy to get approval to grade your gravel driveway in the floodplain - but do not stockpile topsoil and gravel. You can probably get approval to dig a Texas "tank" style pond in the floodplain, but if you raise an embankment for the pond more than a foot above grade, then you trigger a slew of levee regulations. If you are impeding the floodplain, near homes or a city, then the review could get expensive very quickly.

My advice, get all of your approvals FIRST during the design phase of your project before you start spending money moving any dirt.


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