2020 High Hazard-Potential Dam Inspection Requirements Update

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Dam Inspection Requirements Title
New Rules

The 2020 updates to the Oklahoma Administrative Code 785:25 became effective as of September 2020.


Important Documents

We encourage you to check out some of the documents below by clicking on the blue titles that interest you most!

Other important dam safety updates, forms, past newsletters, and publications can be found on the OWRB Dam Safety Webpage.



Dam Inspection Requirements

What are the dam inspector requirements?

According to the Oklahoma Administrative Code 785: 25-9-1, dam inspections "shall be conducted by a Registered Professional Engineer hired by the owner who is licensed in the state of Oklahoma, and shall have training and/or experience concerning the analysis, design, and/or construction of dams and reservoirs, or by an engineer of any United States governmental agency acting in his official capacity.

Provided that inspections of low hazard classification dams may be conducted by
persons who are not Registered Professional Engineers but who are trained in inspecting dams."


What are the requirements for written dam inspection reports?

  1. Color, labeled, and dated documentary digital photographs of the dam, auxiliary spillway, principal spillway inlet structure, principal spillway outlet, and potential safety concerns.
  2. All of the information listed in the updated inspection checklist with the completed checklist attached.
  3. When explanation is needed to identify or describe a  safety concern, notes shall be included in the written report to provide this explanation.
  4. A schedule of corrective actions to be taken to address dam safety deficiencies.
  5. A review of the Emergency Action Plan and of the operation and maintenance manual to assure they are still accurate and applicable, as well as any changes in downstream development or other conditions if applicable.
Inspection photo

Dam safety lead Zachary Hollandsworth, P.E. inspecting the principal spillway conduit on the downstream slope, during a low hazard-potenential dam inspection in Roger Mills County, OK.


For more information about dam inspections please reference the OWRB Inspection Guidelines for Dam Owners fact sheet. 



Emergency Action Plan (EAP) Review

According to the Oklahoma Administrative Code 785: 25-7-7, owners of existing or proposed dams classified as high hazard-potential, shall create and maintain an EAP that utilizes the recommendations, as determined by the Board, of the "Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety, Emergency Action Planning for Dam Owners," published July 2013 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

What are the six elements of an EAP?



How to make sure an EAP has all the necessary elements? 

The OWRB Emergency Action Plan Guidelines for High-Hazard Potential Dams fact sheet includes a description of all of these elements. The OWRB Dam Safety Forms & Publications section also includes a fillable EAP form that can be used when updating or creating new EAPs. 

Along with accurate up to-date information, EAPs must also include a concurrences signature page, in order to be filed with the OWRB. These signatures help ensure that the correct law enforcement, engineering, and emergency management offices have received copies of the document, and will be properly prepared in the event of dam failure. 

All EAP documents are required to be annually reviewed to ensure that the current data, contact information, and signatures are up-to-date and accurate. If you have any EAP related questions please contact the dam safety team. 



Dam Safety Deadlines

What are the deadlines of the dam inspection reports?

Also, in accordance with the Oklahoma Administrative Code 785:5-1-9(e) and 785:25-9-1, high hazard-potential dam inspections must be conducted prior to the last day of the year (December 31), and inspection reports shall be submitted to the OWRB no later than 30 days after the date of the inspection.


What are the fees if the inspection report is not received by the dates above?

Please be aware that If the inspection report and fee are not submitted by the due date above, or if the inspection report is received more than 30 days after the date of inspection, an additional fee of $50 will be due.


Remember, all high hazard-potential dam inspections and EAP reviews, must be completed by December 31, 2020. Inspection reports must be submitted to the OWRB within 30 days of inspection.


Application updates