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Question DetailsAsked on 1/5/2017

Who can deliver and spread fill dirt to my Alva, Fl. home?

Large pond approximately 72 Ft. wide , 144 ft. long and 5 ft. deep needs to be filled in with fill dirt.
This pond is located in Alva, Fl. off Palm Beach Blvd.

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3 Answers


For that large a fill project you almost certainly require a building pearmit, and most likely a land use review by Planning and Zoning, and also permit review and clearance

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



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Answered 3 years ago by Member Services


Actually, Stone and Gravel or Excavation would be the normal Search the List categories for a contractor to provide and place/compact your fill - you definitely do NOT want to use 5 feet of topsoil, both from a cost standpoint and because it will turn into a swampy mush-pit even if it were not in a depression.

My prior response was fairly complete and a lot more extensive than this second try - but it got chopped by AL to 2 lines and I just don't have time to redo it now.

You appear to be in both the South Florida Everglades environmental protection area, and the Caloosahatchie River Water Management Plan area of the South Florida Water Management District, as well as being near to several critical wildlife habitat areas and also (working off a fairly large-scale map) apparently in both gator and Florida panther and migratory waterfowl protection areas - so your project is almost certain to require review and approval by probably 10 or more local, state and federal agencies, and require possible wildlife permits as well as almost certainly Section 401 and 404 (Clean Water Act/Wetlands) permits. This in addition to "normal" local building and Planning and Zoning permit approvals and operational plan filings required for floodplain and dewatering a body of water and excavation/fill operation sediment control.

So I would suggest you contact a local larger Civil Engineering firm which has in-house Environmental permitting capability and which routinely deals in planning and design of land developments and permitting in your area, to get a preliminary read from them on just how difficult this is likely to be. Totally unseen off-the-cuff, I would be expecting this roughly 2000cy fill and 400-500,000 gallon dewatering job to run in the $25,000-150,000 range ASSUMING all agencies grant permits without objections - run into denials and such a permitting and project cost can rapidly run into the several hundreds of thousands if there are reme3diable objections to million plus if you have to do an environmnetal assessment or impact statement - if allowed at all. Bear in mind your project would be considered totally dicretionary and avoidable and to not have a "need" for this action under the law, so their willingness to allow disturbance which the law frowns on is likely to be minimal. Not like if it were related to a major highway or rail alignment or power plant project or such which might "have" to disturb wetlands.

Given that you are looking at eliminating a quarter acre pond, it is pretty likely that it will be classified as a Wetland, meaning a Corps of Engineers permit, which might or might not be covered under a local or state or federal generic "SpeedEZ" (SPDES) specific discharge and pollution elimination permit for the area, or might require detailed individual site development plan and environmental assessment.

Here is a link to some documentation on types of permits commonly required:

My guess is you are talking MINIMUM $25,000-50,000 project cost even if covered under an existing generic permit arrangement - bring in wildlife habitat or wetland issues and I would be surprised for total cost to be less than around $50-100,000 - an amount that is rarely spent for more backyard space - usually limited to commercial developments.

One thing to discuss with the engineers is what you intend to do with this area - that controls the type of drainage and fill material type and amount of compaction needed so you do not end up with a lot of settlement or a lumpy yard. Generally, unless filled with a free-draining gravel or rocky fill to well above water table, the pond will have to be pumped out and any significant muck in the bottom excavated and disposed of, and permanent gravity drainage of the basin provided to keep your fill from turning soft and unsuitable as the former pond fills up with rainfall again.

And be sure to securely fence off the access, because it is amazing how fast the word gets out about areas being filled, and fly-by-night operators start pulling up with their dump trucks of demolition debris, storage tank fuel-contaminated soil, land clearing debris, muck and other unsuitable fill, even septic pumpings - without positive access control you can end up with all sorts of nasty surprises deposited by people trying to avoid hauling costs or paying for waste material disposal come morning, which you then have to pay to excavate and dispose of.

Oh - BTW - my recommendation - do NOT talk to local building or planning department people about this until the actual permit and plan are prepared (and then the development engineer permitting specialist should do the talking), because the tendency of agencies on pond/wetlands removal is mandated to be negative, so let them get that mindset on your project before all your project ducks are in a row is inviting trouble.

One thing that might help the situation along would, possibly and depending on how vegetated and hospitable to waterfowl or engangered land animals it is now, would be to prove (if such is the case) from older maps and air photos that it was originally a man-made rather than natural pond - like if it is an old borrow pit from earlier development in the area or a pond dug for agricultural water supply or private fishing. That can sometimes make the difference in getting past environmental objections, as long as it is relatively barren and not very amenable as wildlife habitat in its current condition.

Definitely do NOT just go ahead and do this without permits - the penalties for wetlands or critical wildlife habitat disturbance or unpermitted water or sediment discharge commonly run from $5,000 to 100,000 PER DAY until remediated - and with this sort of project you might be looking at as many as half a dozen or more different federal and state violations, each with its own penalties. I have seen DIY projects like this run into the hundred thousand $/day assessed fines - a quick way to bankruptcy, especially since the fines usually accrue from the first day of disturbance until the disturbance is totally remediated, which can be months or even years in some cases before vegetation and habitat is reestablished to original condition.

Good Luck

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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