the state offers some free services in this matter.
I had heard that too but I was unsuccessful in finding a path to find it- I even studied at the pondboss website- I also went to my county courthouse where you get a pond permit- Letâs say I was not successful- It must have been done more in the past and folks are just remembering the past-I would welcome being wrong though.
You can still get grants, funding assistance. Be careful with some, because some require the pond to be placed where they say and not you.
Start at your country Agriculture extension office and, Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board. Check out www.LandCAN.org
an acre 10 ft deep is around 16,000 cu yards of dirt to move and shape. Need someone with a large dozer to move that much. Go to the local Soil Conservation office and they will have a list of vendors. At one time you could get some cost sharing but not so much anymore. They still offer some technical assistance in surveying and construction design of spillway.
Go to your local US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service office (formerly known as Soil Conservation Service). There should be one in practically every county in Texas. They can provide technical assistance on site suitability, design, lay-out, construction specifications, dirt contractors, average costs, and more. If they agree to provide staking assistance for a suitable site... they will expect you to construct it according to USDA-NRCS standards and specifications. The location and proximity to any other utility easements and property lines is a major factor in determining a suitable site. I was their technician in Erath County for 14 years and provided this type of assistance at no cost to the land owners in Erath County for approximately 500 farm ponds during that time. Cost-share programs come and go and stipulations for cost-sharing vary.
As previously said, NRCS can be a huge help. They also offer cost sharing programs for places that qualify. We participated in program last year and it was a pretty smooth process.
We did a "pit" type pond, no dam needed due to location. Pond dimensions are 90' X 110' with 10' depth and 30' floor, results in about an acre surface area when full. 3:1 sides on 3 sides and a 4:1 mouth. We also had plenty of clay, so holding water was not a problem.
I'm fortunate to have an older neighbor that is a top notch operator. Rented a D5K2 dozer with rippers and 3 days later pond was dug and ready. My cost was around $5,000.00 with rental, paying operator, and diesel.
I had 2 contractors look at this same project. One was $15K and the other $17K.
A note of caution... renting a machine and digging a hole yourself is not the best approach to getting a pond. There are some really serious consequences to digging into under ground utilities (gas, electric, water, sewer, phone lines...). You simply have to know what is there before you start moving any dirt.