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(Ponds & Raingardens) vs (wetlands laws & septic systems)

Posts: 14
Location: Eastern Massachusetts
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Hello.  This may be a blatant attempt to win Robert Pavlis' book (https://permies.com/t/65720/Robert-Pavlis-author-Building-Natural)...but I actually have real questions I've wanted to ask someone!

We own 2.5 acres North of Boston, with wonderful varying terrain, and we are looking forward to building the Ultimate Permaculture/Edible Forest Garden to Convert the Whole World to the Perfection that is Permaculture.  In all of my spare time, that is.  (Is it weird that the Permie's forum editor ID's "Permaculture" as a misspelling?!)

1.  We are considering a Rain Garden to catch road, roof, & driveway runoff.  But the most obvious spots are within 10-15 feet of an old-but-certified-functional cast iron septic cesspool.  What risks do I take of raising the water table in such a way as to negatively impact the effectiveness of the septic system?  The sites I am thinking of are slight depressions in the ground...but only 1 foot below the ground level at the top of the cesspool...which starts 6" under the dirt, and extends for (I think it is) 7 feet down.

2.  We have a great valley, starting about 15-20 feet from our house.  I have wondered about putting a dam in, along with swales, etc., to eventually provide it water.
    a.  Is there an equation which can allow me to calculate an appropriate surface area or volume given an amount of land which would drain into it?  We do not currently have standing water....I do not want to fill it with city water...and I don't want to just get stagnant water.
    b.  Would I risk raising the water table?  My basement would be at risk.
    c.  An elderly gent who used to maintain the property for the owner claims there is an 'underground river' near our basement...we also have an old stone well at the 'entrance' to the valley -- does this prompt any good ideas?
    d.  Several people have told me NOT to build a pond, because I would come under very challenging wetlands regulation.  Has anyone dealt with legal problems with built ponds & wetlands regs?  (I currently have no wetlands within 50 yards of my property).

Thank you
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