Here’s the experience of the Joy Lake owners, Neil & Caroline
Surely a simple question of pulling out the plug and then letting nature fill it up again?
But what do you do when you have no ‘spring-fed’ water source into your lake? Waiting for the rain to fill it up would take months, so another option is to pump water in from a nearby source.
This is the route we are going down this winter, lowering the level sufficiently to allow our ‘unusual’ shaped lake, with all its lily pads, to be netted.
Each department in France has its own rules and regulations, so there will be some variations, but here is a summary of our findings so far;
Emptying the lake (‘vidange’ in French) requires a permit. You can’t simply pull the plug out and let your lake empty out into the nearest water-course (well you could, but if you get caught the penalties can be severe).
Equally, pumping water back into the lake from a nearby water-course (in our case a handy river that runs close to the boundary of our property) requires a permit.
We managed to establish a contact at the regional offices of the ‘Service Biodiversite, Eau et Foret’ (or SBEF) in Vannes, and wrote to them to ask for the paperwork for a “Demande de regularisation et vidange d’un plan d’eau” (an authority to empty and re-fill the lake).
After the usual delay (2 months!), we received a letter back telling us our lake is not registered and first needs to be legally declared with them, before we can progress to the pumping authority paperwork. We were sent a “Plan D’eau; Declaration d’existence” form to complete and return, along with copies of maps/plan d’cadastral.
Hopefully this should be a formality, and we are now awaiting a response. We should then be able to progress onto the pumping authority paperwork – I’ll update the blog when we get further on in our adventure into French administration!