Dam safety resources

The Kansas Dam Safety Program works to increase and promote public awareness of the benefits and risks related to dams through educational conferences, symposia, workshops, publications, event representation and other activities.

For information on a particular dam, you may obtain copies of public records maintained by the Kansas Department of Agriculture not exempt from disclosure. Request records using this online request form.

Often-requested DWR Information

Dam Safety Inspection Report Requirements and Guidelines

Dam Safety Field Inspection Checklist

Class "A" Dam Registration Exemption Form

Sample Design Report. DWR-required design report example.

Rules and Regulations Checklist for Dams. Form listing KAR 5-40-1 through 5-40-77 for engineers to ensure their plans are complete and meet DWR requirements.

Model Dam Breach Inundation Zoning Regulations

Dam Consulting Engineers Listing Neither intended to be complete listing nor an endorsement, this list of engineers with dam expertise was developed to provide a resource of available dam services.

Significant Hazard Emergency Action Plan

High Hazard Emergency Action Plan Template 

Design of Rock Chutes
Excel Program to Design Rock Chutes for Grade Stabilization (Based on the research presented by Robinson, Rice, and Kadavy for the "Design of Rock Chutes," Transactions of the ASAE 41, 3:621-626, 1998, this Excel spreadsheet program (for Microsoft Office 97) was developed to aid in rock chute design); see Excel Sample (obtain an Excel version from terry.medley@ks.gov).

Dam Safety Tool Box

Fact sheets
Conduit Inspection Repair and Renovation
Hazard Reclassification
Breach Inundation Maps
Dam Terminology
Dam Maintenance
Dam Inspection
Dam Permit Requirements
Selecting an Engineer
Common Rehabilitation Needs
Dam Modifications
Dam Safety Issues
History of Kansas Dams
Fishing Pond Construction
Floodplain Fill 
Slope Protection
Planting Grasses
Dam Removal: Aging Infrastructure Option
Dam Removal Permits
EAP Regulations
Significant Hazard Emergency Action Plan Template
EAPs for High Hazard Dams
EAPs and FEMA 64
EAP Emergency Levels (Temporarily Removed for Edits)
EAP Testing

DWR special publications
Kansas Dams: O&M
Kansas Dams: EAP
Kansas Dams: Dam Removal
Kansas Dams: Fish Passage

Other resources
The Association of State Dam Safety Officials offers timely information relevant to a variety of audiences. For example, see The Costs of Rehabilitating Our Nation's Dams; Living With Dams: Know Your Risks; and animated dam failure examples: Failure Modes: Overtopping and Failure Modes: Piping. Also, see other organizational publications and tools such as the following from the Natural Watershed Coalition:
Development Downstream From Flood Control Dams
Managing Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Agreements on Watershed Dams
Watershed Project Sponsor Responsibilities - Dams
How a Watershed Dam Works
Operation and Maintenance of Watershed Dams

State programs, too, often have resources of interest, for example, this Dam Safety Manual from Indiana has a useful section on maintenance; Texas’ Hydrologic and Hydraulic Guidelines for Dams provides detailed information on dam failure and inundation analysis; Oklahoma recently produced guides for maintenance and inspection; and Ohio has several publications, including fact sheets on lake drains, seepage, upstream slope protection, and concrete repair. Also see Montana's Manual on Corrugated Metal Pipe in Dams for Montana Dam Owners: Problem Identification and Evaluation, Inspection, Rehabilitation, Repair and Replacement and the new West Dam Engineering Technical Notes, including Siphons, Filter Design Outlet Pipe Rehabilitation and Wave Runup, Rip Rap Design and Outlet Pipe Venting.

On the federal government level, the FEMA National Dam Safety Program publishes various media of interest to dam owners, emergency management, and engineers, including the popular collaborative product Pocket Dam Safety Guide. Also see:
Conduits through Embankment Dams: Best Practices (FEMA L266)
Internal Erosion of Earth Dams
Animal Impacts on Dams (FEMA 473)
Plants on Dams Manual (FEMA 534)
Animal Impacts on Earthen Dams (FEMA L264)
Dam Sector Security Awareness Guide (FEMA 466)
Seepage through Embankment Dams (FEMA 535)
Dam Spillways (FEMA 536)
Spillway Gates (FEMA 537)
Hydrologic Issues of Dams (FEMA 538)
Outlet Works (FEMA 539)
Impacts of Plants and Animals on Earthen Dams (FEMA 540)
Embankment Dam Failure Analysis (FEMA 541)
Risk Assessment for Dams
Technical Manual: Plastic Pipe Used in Embankment Dams (FEMA P-675)
Technical Manual: Conduits through Embankment Dams (FEMA 484)

Formerly the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, The National Resources Conservation Service publishes information regarding dams such as Dams in Danger: Kansas. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation offers Design of Small Dams, a classic text on dams, and Prediction of Embankment Dam Breach Parameters: A Literature Review and Needs Assessment. Also of interest is the National Resource Conservation Service that has state specific and general information available on dams, including Filter Diaphragms, and Earth Dams and Reservoirs (TR60) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which offers:
Design and Construction Levees (Corps EM 1110-2-1913)
Culverts, Conduits and Pipe (Corps EM 110-2-2902)
Gravity Dam Design (EM 1110-2-2200)
Guidelines for Safety Inspections of Dam (Corps ER 1110-2-106)

These U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration publications, too, have proved helpful in dam design, including Stilling Basin Design.

Kansas Dam Safety Conference
Beginning in 2003, the Water Structures Program at the Division of Water Resources has hosted an annual conference to increase stakeholder knowledge of dam safety and state regulations. Research, case studies, state regulations, environmental impacts, emergency response, yearly legislative updates, DWR program news, and other presentations continue stakeholders’ knowledge about dams.  

Additional education and training
Small Dam Owner Seminar
Aging dams, population growth in floodplain areas, state regulations— there’s a lot to know about dam safety, ownership, operation, and maintenance. To increase owner and public awareness, state dam safety personnel from the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Division of Water Resources, can present a free, 2-hour Dam Safety Seminar for your group. This seminar can be tailored to meet the needs of individual dam owners, facility managers, maintenance personnel, emergency planning and response agencies, neighborhood associations, and others. Learn about owner liability and responsibilities, operation and maintenance, failure problems, solutions, and related information. For more information, contact Terry Medley at 785-564-6650 or terry.medley@ks.gov.

Significant and High Hazard Dam EAP Seminar

This free non-technical seminar reviews the regulations and basic information needed for an emergency action plan. For more information,contact Terry Medley at 785-564-6650 or terry.medley@ks.gov.