Pond Guidance

The Lancaster County Conservation District does not have jurisdiction in the removal, construction or maintenance of ponds. However, the District is able to offer guidance in working with DEP to do such work with ponds. 

STEP 1: Verify if the proposed pond is jurisdictional and needs a Dam Safety permit through DEP South Central Regional Office (717) 705 – 4802.

STEP 2: Confirm the presence or absence of jurisdictional wetlands within or close to the limits of disturbance with a qualified wetland consultant from the Army Corp of Engineers Baltimore District (410) 962-3670.

STEP 3: Determine if the source of water is subsurface or stream inflow. Stream intakes and outfalls require a GP-4 105 Stream Encroachment Permit, which may not be used in High Quality Watersheds.

STEP 4: Contact the local government for any specific floodplain or ordinance concerns.

STEP 5: If the earth disturbance is over 5,000 square feet develop an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan.

Contact the Conservation District to verify if the plan should be submitted for approval at (717) 299-5361.
STEP 1: Determine DEP jurisdiction through DEP South Central Regional Office at (717) 705 – 4802 For non-jurisdictional ponds DEP’s Waiver 14 provides state authorization to conduct maintenance on a ponds.

STEP 2: Determine Army Corp of Engineers jurisdiction through a Qualified Wetland Consultant from the Army Corp of Engineers Baltimore District (410) 962-3670.

STEP 3: Contact the PA Fish and Boat Commission Southeast Regional Office at (717) 626-0228. A Draw Down Permit is required for ponds larger than 1 acre. Permits are also required for chemical applications for biological control.

STEP 4: Contact the local government for any specific floodplain or ordinance concerns.

STEP 5: If the earth disturbance is over 5,000 square feet develop an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan. Identify areas were sediment spoil will be located. Keep stockpiles and spoil at least 50 feet from streams and wetlands.
STEP 1: Determine DEP jurisdiction through DEP South Central Regional Office at (717) 705 – 4802.

STEP 2: Determine Army Corp of Engineers jurisdiction through a qualified wetland consultant from Army Corp of Engineers Baltimore District (410) 962-3670.

STEP 3: Develop a written plan to breach the pond and request approval from DEP.

STEP 4: Complete a Draw Down Permit if pond is larger than an acre.

STEP 5: Contact the local government for any specific floodplain or ordinance concerns.

STEP 6: If the earth disturbance is over 5,000 square feet develop an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan. Plan should be onsite during all stages of earth disturbance.
A pond is jurisdictional and requires a Dam Safety Permit when:

-The contributing drainage area exceeds 100 acres
-The maximum depth of water exceeds 15 feet
-The impoundment capacity at maximum
-storage elevation exceeds 50 acre-ft.


Jurisdictional ponds are regulated under PA Code 25, Chapter 105 “Dam Safety and Water Management”
Wetland and Stream Encroachments

-Ponds projecting into wetlands or across a stream, require an Environmental Assessment that is to be approved by DEP

-Ponds located in EV watersheds also required an Environmental Assessment

-Any excavation within a wetland, stream, or floodway requires a Chapter 105 Encroachment Permit from DEP.


*Pond Intake and Outfalls from/to a stream require a General Permit 4

*An E & S Control Plan should be developed for any pond excavation.