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4 Resources for Successfully Building a Pond in Maine

4 Resources for Successfully Building a Pond in Maine

Ponds are not only beautiful, they're beneficial, too.  People build ponds for various reasons. Some build ponds simply for landscaping purposes; however, other Maine residents build ponds on their property for better quality of air, to create a habitat for wildlife or to provide water for their garden and livestock.

Whatever the reason for pond building, there is always lot of research and strategic planning involved.  With any major home improvement project, the first place to start is with your local code enforcement office to ensure your project is completed according to local requirements and adhering to any specific restrictions imposed. Below you will find a list of resources and questions to help you get started.

Maine has over 6,000 lakes and ponds. Just think, the next one could be right outside your kitchen window.

Pond Building Resources

earthponds.com Author and aquaculture consultant, Tim Matson's website's design and restoration consulting firm Earth Ponds offers advice on how to build and maintain natural ponds.  It also contains information on how ponds help the environment and can increase your property value. Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection: Natural Resources Protection Act The Natural Resources Protection Act requires a permit for activities in, on, or near protected natural resources, such as wetlands and other bodies of water.  If you are building a pond, check with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to see if you need a permit. Visit the Maine DEP website or call (800) 452-1942.

University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Laws and Regulatory Requirements to Consider before You Build a Pond Information on existing state and federal laws -- a must read before you begin plans.

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture: Ponds -- Planning, Design, and Construction: Agriculture Handbook 590 The U.S. Department of Agriculture's website has advice gathered from land owners, engineers, conservationists, and other specialists, this handbook describes embankment and excavated ponds and requirements for building them.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Building a Pond

  • Why do you want a pond?
  • How will it be?
  • Which type of pond are you considering building (embankment or excavated)?
  • Do you have a wet area or a seep that you want to improve into a pond?
  • Where do you want to build it?
  • What is the water source for your pond?
  • Will your pond have an inlet or an outlet?
  • Are you aware of all the regulatory issues involved with constructing a pond?
  • Does your town require you to get a specific permit?
  • Have you checked with local permitting agencies, like the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers, to ensure that you won't be affecting a wetland?
  • Do you intend to dam up a continually flowing stream? In most cases, these ponds won't be permitted.
  • Have you contacted your insurance agent to be sure your pond will not constitute a nuisance hazard?
  • Do you want to swim in the water?
  • Are you aware of the cost involved?
  • Will you need to find ways to share on the construction costs?
  • Do you want to build it yourself or hire someone else?
  • If you're building it yourself, are you prepared for the physical work involved?
  • Do you know what kind of pump and filter you're going to use, if any?
  • Will you be using any lighting for effect?
  • Will you be planting any plants in or around it, and if so, which ones?
  • Are you planning to add fish to your pond?
  • Will it have a spillway, a waterfall, or a stream feeding into it?
  • Will there be a fountain nearby, or in the pond?
  • If you have young children, will you be able to safeguard them from the pond?

Building a pond can be a worthwhile project, whether for recreation, to control the environment, for crop or livestock watering, or as a wildlife habitat.   At Coldwell Banker Rizzo Mattson, REALTORS we can help you purchase property that includes a pond in your community of choice. Contact us today to learn more.


Don's Fish Pond: Top Ten Questions to Ask Yourself Before Building a Pond

Herda, D.J.  Zen and the Art of Pond Building.  2008.  Sterling Publishing.

Jemison, John M. Jr.  University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Before You Build a Pond: 10 Important Questions and Answers

Maine.gov: Facts about Maine

Maine Laws on Building a Pond


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