Many residents may not know that pumping from lakes and wetlands within the City requires a permit.  The SFL City Council first passed an ordinance in 1989 to prohibit pumping from the City’s lakes and wetlands without an approved City Permit.  City Ordinance requires issuance of an Interim Use Permit for pumping of any lake, stream, wetland or natural or man-made pond water.  You can find the specifics of the ordinance in this link:

The process for water use permit review and approval follows that which is required for Conditional Use Permits – which involves public notice, a public hearing at the Planning Commission,  and review and action by the City Council.   Some of the things that are considered in the review of pumping applications are:

  • Whether pumping could occur when the lake is low
  • The noise from the pumping machine
  • Whether the pumping apparatus has to be removed from the shoreland when pumping is not occurring   
  • Whether pumping may occur at night
  • How would the pumped water be used and where would it go
  • Whether any erosion control needs to be installed

This review process is necessary for the protection of our natural resources.  Please contact City Planner Lori Johnson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to know more about the permitting process, applications and deadlines.