Springs & Ponds

Springs and seeps are areas where water emerges from the ground to form a stream, creek, or wetland. They can be associated with an existing stream or with water stored in the ground.
county road with mountains and trees in background
Except in very rare cases, the water from a spring or seep will eventually find its way to surface waters, either through overland flow or percolation through the ground. Thus, this water is almost always subject to Colorado's prior appropriation system of water rights and can not necessarily be used by the owner of the property on which the spring or seep arises. The Office of the State Engineer can provide you with more information on water rights issues associated with springs and seeps.


The creation, enlargement, and management of ponds in Pitkin County are overseen by Pitkin County Community Development and the County Engineer. An earthmoving permit (PDF) must be obtained to create, enlarge, or otherwise modify a pond where > 50 cubic yards of soil will be moved. As part of the application process, the applicant will be required to demonstrate that it has the water rights necessary to divert, store and use the pond's water.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Permitting

If a pond will involve the disturbance or destruction of wetlands, additional U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permitting may be necessary. You can contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' office in Grand Junction at (970) 243-1199 for more information on their permitting process. A brief overview of the permitting process is also available on the agency's website.