Dam Safety Permit Requirements

Dam owner responsibility
The owner of the land upon which a dam and appurtenant works are constructed is considered the owner of the dam, unless an easement authorizes another person or entity to construct and maintain the dam. The dam owner is responsible for obtaining all necessary local, state and federal permits prior to construction or modification of the dam. The dam owner also is responsible for periodic inspections and any repairs or improvements needed to maintain the dam as permitted.

State law and adopted regulations
Kansas state law requires the Chief Engineer to regulate the construction, operation and maintenance of any dam that is 25 feet or more in height, or six feet or more in height with the ability to store 50 acre-feet or more of water from the auxilliary spillway. The Kansas Legislature changed the definition of a dam in 2013 and made other changes outlined in this guidance document. The Chief Engineer adopted regulations establishing requirements for dam permits, periodic inspections and emergency action plans. Smaller impoundments that do not meet the statutory definition of a dam may still be regulated as a stream obstruction, depending on the watershed area.

KSA 12-766 Floodplain zoning
KSA 24-126 Regulation of floodplain fills and levees
KSA 82a Article 3 Obstructions in Streams

KAR 5-40 Design of Earth Dams
KAR 5-41 Design of Channel Changes
KAR 5-42 Design of Stream Obstructions
KAR 5-43 Sand Dredging Permits
KAR 5-44 Floodplain Management
KAR 5-45 Design of Levees
KAR 5-46 General Permits

Permit applications
An approved permit must be obtained from the Chief Engineer prior to construction or modification of a dam. Each application for permit must be accompanied by maps, plans, specifications, a design report, the required permit fee and a completed application form. Additional information may be required on a case-by-case basis. Dam permit application fees are $200.

Permit application forms are available at the links below:
  2-200 Application for Permit(dams, stream obstructions,channel changes floodplain fill and levees)
 6-102 Combined Application for Permit (stream obstruction and appropriation of water)

Also see Dam Safety Inspection Report Requirements and Guidelines to assist in application submission and dam-permit-requirements for general information.

Other permits
Additional permits may be required, including but not limited to:
Water Appropriation Program permit from the Division of Water Resources
Zoning or development permits from local government
Permit for Stormwater Runoff from KDHE (Phone: 785-296-5545)
Clean Water Act permit from the Corps of Engineers (Phone: 816-389-3990)

Contact Information

Kansas Department of Agriculture
Division of Water Resources
Terry Medley, P.E.
1320 Research Park Drive
Manhattan, Kansas 66502
785-564-6650 voice
785-564-6779 fax