Beginning of the Pond dream

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In my intro I wrote yesterday, I had mentioned my husband and I just moved in to our new home about a month ago. We have 2 sump pumps we plan to have piped underground in part to feed the pond, along with potentially the rain run off from our eaves that will be buried and piped to keep water from the foundation.

Our lot is approximately 240 feet wide by 440 feet deep, and we also need a lot of dirt for back fill by the house. The plan is to dig a pond as big as we need to accommodate all the fill, so we know it will be rather large. We staked a rough outline yesterday, and it will span approximately 110 feet wide left to right, 53 feet wide at its narrowest close to center front to back, and 87 feet wide at its longest on the left side. Our neighbor's pond is 12 feet at its deepest, which is about where he hit water, so we're expecting to do the same.

We will be making sure we run electrical so if we decide to put in a pump and/or filtration unit(s) we have the ability. We do plan to introduce fish, but most likely not this season. Our main focus right now is water management and getting enough ground to use for fill near the house to avoid that extra cost. But we are going to make sure we have a rough idea of future needs. Working now on making sure we have any necessary permits to get this project started. And of course, research on water plants for our zone. I want to stay as natural as possible for algae control and filtration.
 

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Apparently we are looking at almost $1200 in permits on order to even think about getting started on this. And we have to have it scheduled for a Board review on the county level to inform the neighbors and give them an opportunity to address any concerns they may have on file or may affect them. All this before we can even schedule excavation....sigh.

Can you tell I'm impatient? LoL
 
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Well...wrote the checks for the permits today. Once the township and the county receives the permit applications and fees, then we can get on the schedule for the Board review. Got the estimate last week on what this will cost above the permit fees, and we're looking at $12,000 - $15,000. I never thought I'd spend so much money for a hole in the ground. LOL

And then there will be the costs of the plants too! I know I'll be happy with the end result, but this will definitely be a journey. I want to make this as natural as possible, and I'm having a hard time finding info on how to go about planning a pond this size. We changed up the dimensions a little based on some info my husband got from the County, so we'll have a kidney bean shape at no larger than 64' x 96'. I believe that will be over 325,000 gallons (if the estimate of 8' average depth is accurate).

I'm also having trouble finding anywhere local to browse pond plants. I have looked a bit online, but it sure would be nice to have some place local to go and have a conversation with someone. No offense is intended to any of you experts here.
 

mrsclem

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Well...wrote the checks for the permits today. Once the township and the county receives the permit applications and fees, then we can get on the schedule for the Board review. Got the estimate last week on what this will cost above the permit fees, and we're looking at $12,000 - $15,000. I never thought I'd spend so much money for a hole in the ground. LOL

And then there will be the costs of the plants too! I know I'll be happy with the end result, but this will definitely be a journey. I want to make this as natural as possible, and I'm having a hard time finding info on how to go about planning a pond this size. We changed up the dimensions a little based on some info my husband got from the County, so we'll have a kidney bean shape at no larger than 64' x 96'. I believe that will be over 325,000 gallons (if the estimate of 8' average depth is accurate).

I'm also having trouble finding anywhere local to browse pond plants. I have looked a bit online, but it sure would be nice to have some place local to go and have a conversation with someone. No offense is intended to any of you experts here.
Check the internet for native plant sales. There are nurseries that specialize in local plants as well as plants for wetlands.
 
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OH WOW! That is so exciting!!!!! You will need a little boat too, with a pond that big! What fun!
 
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That will be one huge pond!
Yeah... may as well say we're putting in a lake!

My husband found a pond plant and fish nursery about 1 1/2 hrs from us. That's the closest so far, so we'll be going to visit and have a conversation with them. It'll be nice to see plants in person too.

Found out yesterday after permit applications were submitted that we're basically looking at a 3 month wait to get through the process to where we can start digging. I'm not too thrilled but nothing can be done about it. I'm looking at it as lots of time for pond education and research so we get it right the first time.
 
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Interesting project! Credit given for embarking on such a huge project!
So, I'm wondering how you will completely fill and maintain the water level. You are not using any liner, correct?
If I'm correctly understanding what you are doing, you are digging down to the water table. Once you hit water, won't the water just stay at that level? How will you fill it beyond that water table? If there were a water source such as a stream I would understand.
I'm not questioning your plans, just trying to understand the full scope of things.
Thanks for including us in your project. We will enjoy following the progress.
 
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Interesting project! Credit given for embarking on such a huge project!
So, I'm wondering how you will completely fill and maintain the water level. You are not using any liner, correct?
If I'm correctly understanding what you are doing, you are digging down to the water table. Once you hit water, won't the water just stay at that level? How will you fill it beyond that water table? If there were a water source such as a stream I would understand.
I'm not questioning your plans, just trying to understand the full scope of things.
Thanks for including us in your project. We will enjoy following the progress.
We are running our eaves and sump pump pipes underground to the pond so all that water has a place to go. Right now we have corrugated tubing running the sump pump water as far from the house as we can but it doesn't soak in making the ground pretty soggy. Under whatever top soil we may have in the backyard is mainly clay, so I'm pretty sure evaporation is the only reduction we'll have in water level.

So the hope is the water table will fill most of the depth and the continual flow from the sump pump will add to it. Our neighbor's sump pump water runs through a corregated pipe along the property line between us to a creek he dug in his yard and takes the water to his pond. We will have a creek dug from our pond to his creek for overflow. His pond doesn't stay as full as he wants it, so this could help us both. We do have a plan in the event there's still overflow, but we're pretty confident we will both be okay.
 
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Re-reading your first post, I'm thinking the main purpose is water management, but in the future you may add fish.
That's great! Maybe, as you said, next year you can add fish. If everything works out, you can get an ecosystem going next year by adding fish and plants.
Reading here, you will find many ideas on different plants and fish that you may enjoy. You can turn your hole with water in it into a wonderful garden feature.
Keep us posted on your progress.
 
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Re-reading your first post, I'm thinking the main purpose is water management, but in the future you may add fish.
That's great! Maybe, as you said, next year you can add fish. If everything works out, you can get an ecosystem going next year by adding fish and plants.
Reading here, you will find many ideas on different plants and fish that you may enjoy. You can turn your hole with water in it into a wonderful garden feature.
Keep us posted on your progress.
Yes, the current objective is definitely water management. The areas where the two sump pumps are pushing water right now stays wet for too long. In fact there are a couple ruts from one of the big trucks that was here during construction of the house that still have standing water from the snow melting and the couple of rain showers we've had over the last month or so. Mind you, the snow has been gone for at least 6 or 7 weeks now everywhere else. LoL

But I do want to make it look nice. If only the budget would allow it all at once!

Thanks to everyone for the support, and the tidbits of advice so far. It's been a great help and hopefully one day I'll be able to come in to help the newcomers.
 
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Politcs what has this country become when the damn dam gets taxed at 10 percent of the job cost for that kinda rate I better see there azz swinging a shovel on the project
 
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Agree with GBBUDD. It's a sin you have get permission and pay for permits to make improvements on real estate that belongs to you. It seems this is the opposite of freedom. And the fact that I'm sure you already pay a mound of money for real estate and school tax makes it even more preposterous.
I always wondered why my neighbors who had no children have to pay school tax. Or why people who have one child pay the same as those who have five. We still live in the best country, but there are some flaws.
 
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I guess I didn't mind the idea of having to get a permit as much as the fact we already have an open conditional use permit with the county and general use permit with the township to build the house. But we had to pay for another of each in order to dig the pond. I feel we should be able to amend those open permits. I would have been OK with a fee for an amendment over paying full price a 2nd time. But if we didn't do that we'd have to pay almost $3000 just for the fill we need around the house. Then would still have the water management to figure out to have a dry yard in the back. Either way the money has to be spent. I just don't feel that the governing bodies are being fair about the permits considering we've got open ones already.

But we'll get through it, and hopefully before the snow flies again in Wisconsin we'll have a pond
 
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We left off on this thread with commentary about the politics, so it only seems right to give an update on these processes we're currently going through.

Last Thursday we attended the Zoning & Planning Committee board meeting at our township. We expected to go in at 7 PM, be told we have to fence in the back yard and be home by 7:30 PM. What a surprise it was when we first were heading home at 9:30 PM with the discussion tabled till the next meeting in July where we need to provide additional info on the volume of water we'll be pumping into the pond from the sump pumps, estimated pond volume, an overflow plan and a plan if we hit an artesian spring when excavating.

Apparently there have been other water related issues in our neighborhood for years that noone felt was necessary to bring up at other meetings before our pond project came along. There was also several points made by one particular guy that the natural flow of water would be disrupted by this. I don't know...i personally think that whoever built the very first house in that neighborhood disrupted that. But what do I know?

One of the board members said the area we are in was meant to have cottages by the lake, not houses. So we asked why building permits for structures other than cottages were approved then. We did not receive an answer.

One neighbor swore up and down that his yard is being flooded by everyone on our side of the road. One neighbor stated that the sewer line we're tied into was put in illegally and goes right through his property. Supposedly the individual that did it did so without his permission on a day he was not home. And they all felt our pond was going to make the overall water issues worse not better....hence why we need to bring more into to the next meeting. In fact, a few of them laughed when I said we had researched trees that would have a higher usage rate for water and found that weeping willow would be a good choice. So we are planning on putting in at least 4 along with other water loving trees to help with water management in our yard.

We also listened to two people telling the board "It's my lot so I'm going to do [XYZ] and there's nothing you can do about it." Meanwhile, my husband and I are thinking... well, this is our lot and what does any of that have to do with our pond?

In addition, the board wanted to know our plan for mosquito population control. We are less than 1000 feet from a large lake. I'm feeling like that shouldn't even be a topic of discussion. But I don't know, maybe I'm wrong? LoL

In the last 3 days we have been able to address everything except the possibility of an artesian spring. The people were mostly seeking an answer to whether the head pressure would have a risk of flooding everyone. A call to a local well digger is in the to do list for this week.

Maybe we'll win this battle, but wow! What a journey this has become.
 
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