Pond Information

Permits for construction of ponds may be required by the Pennsylvania Dam Safety and Encroachments Act.  The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulates ponds and pond construction in a number of ways.

A DEP permit may not be needed if you meet the following criteria:

  (You must be disturbing less than 1 acre in all cases.)

  • Dam with height less than 15 feet and drainage area less than 100 acres and storage less than 50 acre feet.*
  • Water impounded behind a dam that inundates a wetland. *
  • Normal dam maintenance that does not change the pool level (height of dam) or spillway characteristics. *
  • Dredging of an off-stream pond if the pond has been completely drawn down, i.e. it is no longer a body of water. *


DEP permit requirements may be waived if:

  • It is a dam with height less than 3 feet on a stream less than 50 feet wide except on a wild trout stream.* 
  • Maintenance of stormwater or erosion and sedimentation control basin.*
  • Dredging of an existing off-stream pond if the pond is not drawn down at the time of dredging, i.e. it remains a body of water.*
 * Federal authorization may be required. 
Please contact your local municipal officials during project planning.

Have you thought of putting a pond on your property?  Are you wondering if you need a permit to build one?

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