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Filling a pond

Take these tips into consideration before you start breaking ground

Springs and streams

In terms of ground water, an option is to dig a shallow well and if the pond is lined, be able to pump the water in and maintain a constant water level. You may need a permit to do this. It depends on how many gallons-per-minute you plan to pump and what you intend to do with the water once it's in the pond.

No pumping will be necessary if your ground water comes from a spring.

"If you're fortunate enough to have a spring, you've probably got a boggy area already, and that's how you would know there's a spring there in the first place," Duvall says. "Sometimes you can get a little more flow out of a spring if you clean it out, which you would in effect be doing by digging your pond, if it happens to be located right where the spring is at."

Some landowners look at a stream running through their property and consider damming it up. Duvall says you may need a water-right permit to do that. It depends on your drainage area, who's downstream, and what existing water rights they may have. Even if the stream only fills after a heavy rain, it's probably best to leave it alone.

Learn more:

Pond construction: This fact sheet from Virginia Cooperative Extension discusses selecting the best pond site, water supply, pond construction, and more.

Building a new pond: Here are some useful suggestions for planning, designing, and constructing a new pond.

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