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Pond Construction

Ponds are much easier to manage when properly constructed. A prospective pond owner should contact a representative of the U.S.D.A., Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) at a field office in their area. The NRCS can make recommendations regarding location, design, and proper construction. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System also has publications regarding pond construction.  The owner should also utilize a reputable contractor, (with references) that is familiar with design and construction of ponds which meet NRCS engineering specifications.

Watch videos relative to pond construction.

Site Selection and Source of Water

Time to Build

Clearing Site and Digging Core Trench

Drainpipe, Dam and Spillway

Deepening Edges and Establishing Sod

Pond Size 

The Results of Poor Dam Construction
Poor dam construction can doom a pond to failure.

The information above came from the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division's booklet Sportfish Management in Alabama Ponds, which is available as a PDF.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Assistance
1) If a land owner wants to build a pond where its primary function is for livestock/irrigation, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has a cost share program. The land owner can apply for the program, and an NRCS agent will come on site to help with the site selection/design, etc. The agent must to do this to ensure the land owner conforms to the guidelines of the program.
2) If a land owner wants to build a recreational pond, then the NRCS agent will come out “as time and resources permit” to help with site selection/design, etc. However, the land owner must conform to federal permitting guidelines, such as the Corps of Engineers permit and the Sediment and Erosion permit for their assistance. Applications for these permits must be sent in by land owner to see if they need them, but the agent can usually tell the land owner if one will be required while on site. This same scenario holds for existing recreational ponds with structural problems.
3) Land owner can come to a field office to discuss site selection/design, etc.
4) Land owner can discuss with the NRCS agent on phone.

Official Web site of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
©2008 Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources   |   64 N. Union Street, Suite 468 - Montgomery, Alabama 36130