Planning to buy at home at Possum Kingdom Lake?
Here's what you need to know.

Buying a home is an exciting time for everyone. However, before you close on a home, it's important to acquaint yourself with the unique PK lifestyle and some things that could save you a great deal of money down the road.

Just as you would have a home inspected before purchase, it's very important that you also have the property's septic, docks, walkways, and retaining walls inspected. If the property is equipped to use lake water for landscape watering, it's also essential to have the pump and piping inspected before closing.


Docks or On-Water Facilities are allowed on Brazos River Authority reservoirs; however, as they reside over BRA-owned property (the lakebed and water), a permit is required to ensure safety for all who utilize the facilities.

To continue using docks and existing water permits, a transfer of ownership is required through the Brazos River Authority when a home changes hands at PK.

Why should this take place before closing?

Before closing, the home and its facilities are the responsibility of the current owner. Once the closing has occurred, the cost of any repair of the facilities falls upon the new owner. You could save yourself thousands by determining the safety of the facilities and requiring repairs of the current owner before closing occurs.

Here are some of the areas that should be inspected before closing:

  • AMBER reflectors must be fastened to the dock and walkway. These should be affixed no greater than 20' apart.
  • The general conditions of the dock & walkways – loose, broken, missing, & rotten boards must be replaced before a permit is issued.
  • Exposed, unattached, &/or submerged electrical wires/weatherproof outlet covers should be replaced.
  • Docks that extend more than 100 ft. into the lake must have clear or white light fixtures (solar or electrical) illuminating the dock during dark hours.
  • The proper size & configuration of the dock under the current permit should be confirmed. Any modifications to the facility MUST be permitted. You may obtain a copy of all permitted configurations through the PK Lake Office.
  • Unauthorized facilities (living accommodations, sinks, toilet facilities, kitchen facilities, fuel/oil dispensing systems).

Inspectors will also check for:

  • The condition & configuration of anchorage
  • The flotation to ensure it is well secured to the structure
  • That the location of the dock allows a clear channel for other vessels
  • Any items not otherwise noted, that would adversely affect public health, safety & welfare

On closing, new homeowners must transfer On-Water Facility Permits into their name. There is a one-time charge of $75 for application/inspection. There is no annual fee to maintain a dock on Possum Kingdom Lake.

For safety purposes, no permanent structure may be built below the 1000-ft. contour of the reservoir. In a few instances, structures may be "grandfathered." Please contact the lake office if you find during the survey process that there is a structure within this area. You may find an On-Water Facility application here.

Seawalls/Retaining Walls

For any construction along the shoreline, homeowners must have a licensed surveyor mark the 1000-ft contour during an official survey. The 1000-foot contour marks the deeded property line between your property and the area considered part of the lake. This line may or may not be underwater.

Septic Systems

Possum Kingdom Lake is a rural community. There are several municipal water providers for potable (drinking) water around the reservoir, but there is no municipal wastewater provider outside gated communities. As a result, each house must have a functioning On-Site Sewage Facility or septic system to serve this purpose.

At PK, the Brazos River Authority serves as the permitting authority for the state for any septic system located within 2,000 feet of the lake or the 1,000-foot contour line.

Perspective homeowners should have the home's septic system inspected during the same visit that a BRA inspector is available to review docks and retaining walls. If the system does not meet state standards, the BRA has a listing of septic system companies that service or install systems around the reservoir. Inspectors will be happy to guide both prospective and new homeowners thru the process.

To access on On-Site Sewage Facility Permit application, click here.

Residential Water Use Permits

The Brazos River Authority offers lakeside homeowners the option of purchasing an annual Residential Water Use Permit to water their landscaping and lawn. The permit allows the homeowner to install a pump and piping on their property. Many properties already have pumps installed.

If the property you're interested in purchasing has a pump and pipe system, you will want the BRA inspector to review the system before closing in the event repairs are necessary. Permit application fees are due upon the request to transfer permits before closing on the property.

The permit allows up to 5,000 gallons of untreated (non-drinkable) water to be drawn monthly for irrigation purposes. As with dock permits, there is a one-time $25 application/inspection fee. However, where there is no annual fee to maintain a dock on PK, there is an annual fee to draw water from the reservoir for landscape purposes. The current Water Use Permit fee is billed annually in arrears in December with a due date of January 1. You may download a Residential Water Use Permit here.

Improvement Permits

Improvement permits allow homeowners to make improvements to the areas of their property along the shoreline, such as retaining walls. This permit may also be used by homeowners who wish to dredge (an approval letter from the Army Corp of Engineers is required) the lake bottom adjacent to their property or near their dock or remove stumps from the lake bottom that may obstruct access to docks. As with other BRA permits, there is a one-time application/inspection fee of $75 to review planned construction, inspect the property and provide permit paperwork. Go here for an application permit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Permits are required for the installation, repair and replacement of docks, retaining walls and walkways, lakeside water pumps and septic systems. Permit forms are available by clicking here or you may contact the Lake Office at (940) 779-2321 to receive an application by email or the postal service.

The BRA does not require an annual fee for on-water or dock facilities on Possum Kingdom Lake. There is, however, a one-time permit and inspection fee of $75 for installing a new dock, adding on to the existing dock, removing from the existing dock or changing the footprint, or transfer of title when you purchase your home.

On-Water Facility permits do not need to be displayed on the dock; however, each dock should have a permit plate displayed that passing boaters can see from the water. If your dock does not have a numbered permit plate and is less than one year old, please contact the lake office at 940-779-2321 and one will be sent to you at no cost.

All On-water Facility (Piers & Docks) and Water Use permits must be transferred to the new property owner by the Brazos River Authority by phone, mail, or email. A transfer fee may or may not be required at the time of your request. Preparation of the transfer documents, related inspections of the property and improvements and fees due will be reviewed by the BRA before the transfer is completed. For additional information, contact the Possum Kingdom Lake office at 940-779-2321.

  • Size of new docks is limited to 2,000 square feet
  • Storage closets may be no larger than 40 square feet
  • Three sides can be enclosed
  • A roof with a deck on top is allowed; however, no roof is allowed on an upper deck - awning is allowed on upper deck
  • A replacement dock must follow all new regulations, but may remain the size of the previous dock - grandfathered if above 2000 square feet

All flotation must be encapsulated in an approved rustproof, non-corrosive, UV resistant shell that is at least .15 inches thick. It must provide at least 4 inches of flotation out of the water when the dock is under a dead load or a minimum of 1 inch of flotation out of the water when the dock is under full live load (20 pounds per square foot).

Yes, you may paint or install upgrades to your on-water facility without a permit as long as the changes you're making do not change or enlarge the footprint of the dock.

Because repair or general work on docks often requires water access, the BRA requires dock repair and construction companies to obtain a permit to work on the water. You may receive an up-to-date list of contractors with current permits by calling the lake office at 940-779-2321.

To learn if a specific property that does not currently have a dock is eligible for a permit, please contact the lake office and speak with an inspector. 940-779-2321.