Fort Worth District
Lakes and Recreation Menu


Fee Land

General Statement

In keeping with the flood damage reduction, environmental stewardship and recreation mission of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, this website is designed to acquaint adjoining property owners, residents, and other interested persons with the rules and regulations that apply to the management of public lands and flowage easements at Grapevine Lake. Maintaining the integrity of project purposes is given primary consideration in all management decisions to ensure the maximum use and enjoyment of the lake lands and waters by present and future generations of Americans.

While private, exclusive use of public lands is not allowed, all citizens, including property owners adjacent to public lands, enjoy the same rights and privileges. One of the most valued privileges is that of pedestrian access to most of the public lands surrounding the lake. With the exception of certain controlled access park areas and secure operational areas, most public land at Corps lakes is open to public pedestrian traffic.

For a printable brochure Click Here


  • A permit to withdraw water must be obtained from the Dallas Water Utilities. A copy of this permit must be submitted, along with the completed application, to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Grapevine Lake Office, 110 Fairway Dr. Grapevine, Tx 76051.

  • All electrical installations must comply with the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC), the National Electrical Code (NEC) and ER 1101-2-4401.

  • Jet pump installations may be used if the pump and motor assembly are placed on private property. Suction lines placed in the lake must be buried.

  • Water intake velocity may not exceed .5 feet per second to protect small fish in the area. A larger intake foot or screen may be used to decrease the velocity.

  • Project personnel must personally inspect proposed installation site to determine potential damage to vegetation, tree roots or obvious archeological resources, this includes during construction and a post inspection to ensure compliance of the issued permit license.

  • A durable metal tag, with name and address, must be attached to any exposed waterline, making it possible to identify the owner when inspecting waterlines by boat. Generally, the tag will be attached to the waterline about 3 ft. above conservation pool.

  • The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers has acquired a flowage easement on land, which lies, at and below the 572.0' elevation contour on Grapevine. Written permission must be granted by the Corps of Engineers to place a structure, or to perform any work performed within the flowage easement.
  • As of 26 Feb 2009 a moratorium on submersible pumps is in effect for Fort Worth District Civil Project Resevoirs. No new real estate permits/licenses for use of submersible pumps located on Federal property will be issued. New applications and design plans for waterline permits to withdraw lake water MUST show that all pumps and electrical components are located off of Federal property. Applications proposing the use of submersible pumps or electrical components located on Federal property will be denied.

Electric Lines

  • All electrical installations must comply with the NESC, the NEC, and ER 1101-2-4401; Clearance for Power and Communication Lines Over Reservoirs.

  • Permission must be granted by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers to construct under or on land that is flowage easement. The 572.0 elevation contour is the upper extent of flowage easement on Grapevine Lake.


As a means of entry to government property, adjacent landowners may add a gate to the Corps’ boundary line fencing for pedestrian access ONLY . Landowners may, with written permission from the Lake Manager , install a gate in fences constructed of steel pipe, post-and-cable, or other materials in accordance with the following requirements:

  • Gate may be up to 54 inches in width.
  • Gate may be constructed of wood or metal materials and must not weaken the structural integrity of the Government fence or cable.
  • Installation of gates will be at the expense of the adjacent landowner.
  • Gates must remain closed and locked when not in actual use.
  • Only one gate will be allowed per adjacent landowner.

Justification for a gate should be submitted to the Lake Manager. Not all requests are guaranteed approval.

Permit conditions that apply to water lines, electric lines and gates:

  1. The Government shall in no case be liable for any damage or injury to the permitted facility which may be caused by or result from subsequent operations undertaken by the Government for the improvement of navigation or for other lawful purposes, and no claims or right to compensation shall occur from any such damage. This includes any damage that may occur to private property if a gate is removed for noncompliance with the conditions of the permit
  2. Ownership, construction, operation, use and maintenance of a permitted facility are subject to all applicable Federal, state and local laws and regulations. Failure to abide by these applicable laws and regulations may be cause for revocation of the permit.
  3. The permittee shall remove a permitted facility within 30 days, at his/her expense, and restore the waterway and lands to a condition accepted by the resource manager upon termination or revocation of this permit or if the permittee ceases to use, operate or maintain a permitted facility. If the permittee fails to comply to the satisfaction of the resource manager, the district commander may remove the facility by contract or otherwise and the permittee agrees to pay all costs incurred thereof.
  4. Permitted facilities and activities are subject to periodic inspection by authorized Corps representatives. The resource manager will notify the permittee of any deficiencies and together establish a schedule for their correction. No deviation or changes from approved plans will be allowed without prior written approval of the Resource Manager.
  5. No vegetation other than that permitted in the permit will be damaged, destroyed or removed. No vegetation of any kind will be planted, other than that specifically prescribed in the permit.
  6. The resource manager or his/her authorized representative shall be allowed to cross the permittee's property, as necessary, to inspect facilities and/or activities under permit.
  7. Temporary structures or items (i.e. tables, chairs, volleyball nets, etc.) may be placed on government property for NO LONGER than 24 hours. After a period of 24 hours, unattended property shall be presumed abandoned and may be impounded.

Flowage Easement Land

Perpetual flowage easement estates were acquired by the Federal Government on certain private lands that adjoin public land in the Grapevine Lake area. These flowage easements grant to the government full, complete, and perpetual right, power, privilege, and easement to occasionally overflow, flood, and submerge lands in connection with the operation and maintenance of the lake. Flowage easement lands around Grapevine Lake are generally defined as those private lands located below the elevation contour of 572 feet above mean sea level. However, a review of the deed that created the flowage easement would be necessary to determine its exact location. With few exceptions, these flowage easements grant the Federal government the right to prevent human habitation on the flowage easement and to prevent any activity that would limit the government’s ability to periodically store flood water on the land.

In some instances, the reference to a flowage easement restriction is omitted during the preparation of new deeds during changes in property ownership. This omission does not diminish the legality or validity of flowage easement restrictions over the property involved.

There are areas that may vary, be sure to check your deed.

The Owner of Flowage Easement Land, at his discretion, may:

  • Mow, clear, plant vegetation, or otherwise use as desired if not in conflict with the terms of rights acquired by the Government.
  • Sell or lease the land to others, subject to all restrictions contained in the flowage easement lands.
  • Request in writing for permission to build any structure other than a structure designed or intended to be used for human habitation on the flowage easement land.

Activities which are prohibited on Flowage Easement lands:

  • Constructing or maintaining any structure for human habitation or buildings for commercial purposes, permanent or temporary.
  • Placing fill material within the easement, raising the land above the flowage easement contour, or altering the location of the flowage easement contour.
  • Placing or constructing any other structures or appurtenances to existing structures on the flowage easement land without prior written approval of the District Engineer. “OtherStructures” are construed to mean any structure of any kind including but not limited to fill material, buildings, ramps, ditches, channels, dams, dikes, wells, earthen tanks, roads, utility lines, and tramways.

Activities on Flowage Easement lands which may be permitted with written permission:

  • With written approval, most structures, other than a building or structure designed or intended to be used for human habitation or commercial purposes, structures that cause a loss of flood storage capacity or structures designed to store petroleum or hazardous products, can be constructed on flowage easement land.
  • With respect to construction of water wells, sewer lines, or septic systems, each case will be examined to ensure that pollution of the lake or interference with the operation of the reservoir will not occur. All proposed sewer line and septic system installations must have prior approval of city, county or state health departments. State law requires that septic system installations must be located a minimum of 75 feet in horizontal distance up slope from the 50 year flood contour line of 560 feet above mean sea level.

Permit Applications

All requests for construction or placement of any structure or facility on Government land or flowage easement lands must include the following:

  1. A letter of application which includes the type of request, the applicant’s name, address, and phone number(s), the sub-division, lot, and section (if applicable), and the nearest monument number (if possible).
  2. Detailed design plans of the proposed work.
  3. A map showing the location of the proposed action and the relationship with the U.S. boundary line and flowage easement contour if applicable.
  4. Written approval from the appropriate agencies.

Please address all permit applications or other correspondence to:

Grapevine Lake Site Manager

Grapevine Lake Project Office

110 Fairay Drive

Grapevine, TX 76051-3495

Applications cannot be processed until all this information is complete.

For information on pools in flowage easement use the following links.

Click Here for guidelines on pools and decks

Click Here for a sample letter

Click Here for a sample pool design

Uses of Public Land which are prohibited

Below is a list of the most common misuses of public land. More information can be found in Code of Federal Regulations Title 36 .

  • Any type of private exclusive use.
  • Placement of unattended personal property of any kind on public land.
  • Construct buildings, roads, improved pathways or any other facilities on public land.
  • Restricting public access either verbally, by posting signs, or by any other method.
  • Operating vehicles except when on designated roads at authorized access points.
  • Dispose of any type of garbage, debris, or other refuse on public land.
  • Build fires on public land, except in authorized locations.
  • Gathering firewood.
  • Allow horses, cattle, or other livestock on public land, except by lease from the government or as otherwise permitted.
  • Destroy, alter, or remove any facility, vegetation or natural feature.

Considerations before buying adjacent property

Before purchasing land adjacent to Grapevine Lake, there are three items which should be checked to determine if the land is suitable for the uses you intend for it:

  • Check to see if the upper extent of flowage easement and the Government property line are identified. The person selling the land when the property lines are surveyed usually does this. If they are not identified, contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at this office.
  • Contact the local city or county Environmental Health Department for information and requirements for submitting a permit for a septic system, testing, and design requirements.
  • Establish on the ground whether or not there is enough space ABOVE the upper extent of flowage easement on which to place a mobile home or construct a house with a septic system. After the land is purchased, apply for all necessary permits, licenses and contracts well in advance of construction.

We are engaged in preserving and restoring natural scenic beauty at Grapevine Lake and we appreciate your participation in this effort on both Federal owned and flowage easement lands. Your cooperation will assist us in providing a healthy ecosystem managed environment that will provide and protect the quality of, air, land and water, and a variety of plants and animals that contribute to our personnel, social and economic well being for future generations.

Wear your life jacket