Pond in field full of trees


  • All pond construction activities must comply with county erosion and sediment control regulations. A county Land Disturbance permit may be required depending upon the amount of land disturbed. 
  • If the area draining into the pond exceeds 240 acres you will need a Kansas Division of Water Resources stream obstruction permit. For permit forms call Topeka at 785-296-3717.
  • If the pond capacity exceeds 50 acre-feet at top of dam elevation or pond dam fill is 25 feet or higher then you will need a dam permit from the Kansas Division of Water Resources.
  • Do not place fill or regrade the land in a FEMA flood plain. Check the flood insurance rate maps for your pond location. If in a flood plain a Flood Plain Development Permit is required. Contact Planning at 913-715-2214.
  • No part of the pond or dam should be within 110 feet of the center of the road for section line roads or within 50 feet of the right of way line for local roads.
  • Work disturbing Waters of the United States will require a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Call the Kansas City District at 816-983-3990 for more information. Check for platted drainage easements or natural drainage areas, any pond in these areas will require county approval. The specific requirements are usually stated on the plat.
  • Any federal, state or county permits will require submittal of engineered drawings.

Pond Issues

Consider your neighbor upstream. Do not back water on your neighbors or road right-of-way. Your overflow spillway needs to be at least 2 ft. lower than the low point at the property line.

Consider your downstream neighbor. The dam needs to be upstream from the property line far enough that the water flowing around the spillway gets back to the natural channel before it gets to the downstream property line. This will be at least 50 ft. from the property line, and probably much more. Some ponds leak, and your downstream neighbor may complain about the seepage, you need to have a plan to correct the seepage problem.

Other considerations. Small ponds in large watersheds fill with silt relatively quickly, the spillway is hard to maintain, and the dam may overtop in a large rainfall event. As a rule of thumb, there should be 12 acres of drainage for each surface acre of water.

Proper Construction. Contact the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRSC) for information about proper pond construction.