A determination must first be made whether the pond will be located in a shoreland, floodplain, or wetland area. Kenosha County does not require a general permit to dig a pond located outside the floodplain, shoreland, or wetland zoning districts. We do require minimal, reasonable setbacks from property lines, structures, roads, septic, wells, etc.
An erosion control permit is required if the pond is located outside a shoreland/wetland area but disturbs a total land surface area of 4,000 square feet or more or involves excavation/filling or a combination of excavation/filling, in excess of 400 cubic yards of material. Ponds built within the shoreland require a County stipulated shoreland permit.
Most towns require a land disturbance permit, and the DNR may also require a permit. Other subdivision covenants, easements, or deed restrictions may apply.
Ponds are generally not permitted in the floodplain or connected to a navigable waterway. A wildlife pond may be created in a wetland (C-1 Zoning District) with proper permits and approval of the Land Use Committee. A wildlife pond cannot exceed an average depth of 5 feet, and side slopes cannot exceed a gradient of 1 foot vertical to 5 feet horizontal.
Wetland disturbances will require a water quality certification from the DNR and possibly the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Additionally, please contact the local township to determine if any town permits are required. Most ponds will require a permit or approval, please contact these agencies to inquire about the procedure for a pond at your location. Visit the WDNR website for more information.