The Lorain Soil & Water Conservation District provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people conserve, maintain and improve the natural resources and environment in Lorain County.


Agricultural Center
42110 Russia Road
Elyria, OH 44035-6813
Phone: 440.326.5800
FAX: 440.326.5807

Pond Construction Process – Lorain County

The Lorain Soil & Water Conservation District has suspended pond assistance to all townships in Lorain County effective 1/24/2012. Under the Lorain County Erosion & Sediment Control Rules adopted in 2009, Lorain SWCD still requires an Erosion and Sediment Control Permit (ESC) Application submittal for non-agricultural ponds that will cause a soil disturbance of one acre or greater. If needed, the ESC Permit Application must be submitted for review a minimum of 21 working days prior to the start of soil disturbing activity. Please see the "NPDES Phase II" tab for more details.

This change is due to funding cutbacks from the Lorain County Commissioners. As a result we will no longer be doing the following work items for new pond construction.

  • Pond surveys
  • Pond site layouts
  • Final pond certification

Here are a few suggestions and FYI’s to take into consideration if planning a pond:

  1. When planning a new pond, always observe setbacks from property lines, structures, roads, neighbors etc., as established by individual township's zoning rules.

  2. Most townships still require a permit to build a pond. Contact your zoning inspector with questions.

  3. Contact the Ohio Utilities Protection Service at 1-800-362-2764 a minimum of 48 hours before you dig to check for underground utilities.

  4. When planning a pond, make sure that you are not causing additional drainage problems to neighboring properties as a result of the construction.

  5. If drainage tile is encountered during construction, it needs to be routed around the pond.

  6. A pond should never back up water on neighboring property, even after a storm event.

  7. A pond should be positioned in a low area to be able to collect runoff. This will allow for a pond that fills quicker and maintains a water level during the course of a year.

  8. Site a pond in an area to collect “clean” runoff from areas such as roofs, woodland, lawns or other grassy area. Avoid runoff from pastures, feedlots, septic systems, or eroding sites.

  9. NRCS engineering standards for ponds calls for ponds to a minimum of eight (8) feet deep and 10,000 square feet in size. This is equivalent to ¼ acre.

  10. An excavated pond of quarter-acre in size involves the excavation of approximately 2,000 cubic yards of soil material.

  11. All ponds should be constructed with an overflow system to handle excess storm-water. Generally this involves a pipe overflow (to handle base flow) and emergency or earthen spillway (to handle large storm events).

  12. Consider using the services of a professional engineer to assist with the planning and construction of a new pond.

The above items are only suggestions that may help if planning a new pond in Lorain County.

The Lorain SWCD has a limited number of Ohio Pond Management Handbooks and USDA Ponds-Planning, Design, Construction books available that will help with pond construction and management.

NOTE: Township officials interested in having the Lorain SWCD resume pond services should contact the Lorain County Commissioners and ask that funding for the Lorain SWCD be restored.


August 16, 2017