Dam Safety Inspection Requirements

(Updated June 2021) Inspections are essential to confirm important physical dam attributes, identify condition and highlight problems and to provide a basis for planning and implementing maintenance and repairs of a dam.

Owners of dams are required to hire a qualified engineer to inspect and report results every 2 years for High Hazard Potential dams, every 5 years for Significant Hazard Potential dams and every 10 years for Low Hazard Potential dams.

Phase I Formal Dam Safety Inspection Information for Dam Owners

Two documents found at the provided links below are to be used as editable templates that when completed in conformance with the guidelines presented will compose final Phase I Formal Dam Safety Inspections in compliant format.  A sample completed Phase I Formal Dam Safety Inspection Report is also available at one of the provided links below.

If you have questions about Phase I Formal Dam Safety Inspection Report requirements please contact Office of Dam Safety at 508-792-7716 ext. 41828.

Dam Safety Inspection Template: This is an editable document that must be used to prepare inspection reports, following field inspections to ensure compliance with the current template version.  Guidelines are included within the template for both conducting field inspections and preparing reports.  It is the inspecting Registered Professional Engineer’s responsibility to ensure that the current template as of the date of the field inspection is used for each inspection report.  Failure to use the current template version will result in a non-compliant inspection report that may be returned to the dam owner and engineer.

Inspection Checklist: This checklist, also an editable document, may be used in the field as a data collection guide to record inspection data and findings. The completed checklist is to be comprised of the data collected in the field transferred carefully into the excel spreadsheet at this link.  Each page of the checklist is to be inserted into the Phase I Dam Safety Inspection report in Appendix B. Sections of the checklist that are not applicable to the type of dam being inspection are to be noted as Not Applicable to this Structure.   Please note the checklist spreadsheet at this link has been revised to include the Dam Evaluation Summary Detail Sheet which is automatically populated with data as data is input into the various pages (worksheets) of the Inspection Checklist spreadsheet. (please note a correction to impoundment surface area units was made 10 15 2012, surface area is to be reported in acres)

Sample Phase I Formal Dam Inspection Report:  This document is provided for information to demonstrate the required level of detail and format for presenting inspection findings to both the dam owner and the Office of Dam Safety that are compliant with Dam Safety Regulations.

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Poor and Unsafe Condition Dam Follow-up Inspection and Phase II Inspection and Investigation Outline

When a Follow-up Inspection is Required: Complete the editable Follow-up Inspection Form and provide a cover letter on consulting firm letterhead that briefly summarizes the current follow-up inspection observations and findings. The cover letter shall be signed and stamped by the Registered Professional Engineer in charge of the inspection.

When a Phase II Inspection and Investigation is Required: Use the Phase II Inspection and Investigation Outline to plan and conduct the effort.

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