Dam Safety Quarterly: Important Deadline Reminders, Requirements for Dam Inspections and Annual EAP Updates , and How to Find Dam Safety Rules

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September 2021


We encourage you to check out some of the documents below!



Please see the following sections for deadline reminders  and requirements for dam inspections, annual EAP updates, and operation and maintenance plans.

Deadline Reminders

1. All dam inspections and EAP reviews/updates, must be completed by December 31, 2021.

2. Inspection reports must be submitted to the OWRB within 30 days of the inspection being completed. If the inspection report and fee are not submitted by the due date an additional fee of $50 will be charged.

3. Please look over the 2020 inspection review letter from the OWRB. If you were given any additional deadlines in this letter, please make sure to have the required documents to the OWRB by the deadline.

Dam inspection report review and administration fees can be mailed directly to the OWRB or payed online using the OWRB's new online pay portal.

If you have any questions about these deadlines or the online pay portal, please contact the OWRB Dam Safety Program staff.

Dam Inspection Requirements

**Please be aware that inspection reports that are not completed by a qualified person, or do not meet all of the outlined minimum standards will be returned and not considered received until all minimum standards are met** 

Inspection Completed by Qualified Person

Qualified persons shall submit written inspection reports that adhere to all of the standards as outlined in Oklahoma Administrative Code 785: 25-9-1.

qualified person is defined as 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/her official capacity.

Dam Inspection Frequency

Periodic inspections of dams shall be according to hazard potential classifications as follows:



Minimum Standards for Dam Inspection Reports 

All submitted inspection reports should adhere to all of the following minimum standards.

ChecklistNID DefinitionsSafety concerns

Annual EAP Update

An Emergency Action Plan (EAP) is a formal document that identifies potential emergency conditions at a dam and specifies preplanned actions to be followed to minimize property damage and loss of life in the event of a dam failure. The dam safety program encourages dam owners of all hazard classification dams to create an EAP. Owners of existing or proposed dams classified as high hazard-potential are required to create and maintain an EAP.

dam failure

Dam failure resulting in a sudden uncontrolled release of water

The OWRB Emergency Action Plan Guidelines for High-Hazard Potential Dams fact sheet includes a description of all of the six elements of an EAP. 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 reviewed/updated by the dam owner annually 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 the OWRB Dam Safety Program staff.**

Operation and Maintenance Plan

To ensure safe functioning of dams and to extend their life, the OWRB recommends that dam owners develop dam operations and maintenance plans for their dams.

maintained dam

Upstream slope and crest of well maintained earthen embankment dam

Operation and maintenance plans should include the routine maintenance practices and expected frequency. For more information on how to prepare an operation and maintenance plan, please refer to the ASDSO video Developing Operation and Maintenance Manuals for Dams-2014  or the OWRB Dam Maintenance Guidelines document.


The most update version of the dam safety rules are now hosted by the Oklahoma Secretary of State on the online Oklahoma Administrative Code and Register.

Below is a description of how to find the dam safety rules on the new platform.

1. Go to the online Oklahoma Administrative Code and Register. Click on the "View Code" on the left.


2. Scroll down and click "Title 785 Oklahoma Water Resources Board".


3. Click "Chapter 25 Dams and Reservoirs".


4. Finally, click on one of the subchapters or appendices of Oklahoma Administrative Code 785:25 to view specific dam safety rules.

dams 25