Oklahoma Water Resources Board the Water Agency


Dam Safety Quarterly
Dam Safety Quarterly

The OWRB coordinates the Oklahoma Dam Safety Program to ensure the safety of more than 4,700 dams in the state. The Program requires inspections for all jurisdictional size dams based on the presence of downstream development.

Hazard-Potential Classification Risk Involved with Dam Failure Inspection Frequency

High

probable loss of human life

annually, by a registered professional engineer

Significant

no probable loss of human life but can cause economic loss or disruption of lifeline facilities

every three years by a registered professional engineer

Low

no probable loss of human life and low economic loss

every five years


In addition, owners of high hazard dams are required to have an emergency action plan (EAP) in place. Copies of the EAP must be submitted to local law enforcement agencies and emergency management officials. OWRB staff require submittal and subsequent approval of plans and specifications prior to all new dam construction and modifications to existing dams.



Interactive Dam Inventory Viewer




Hydrology for Dam Safety Technical Seminar

News



EAP Workshop Wrap-Up


OWRB conducted free EAP workshops in Oklahoma City and Tulsa this July. Forty seven participants - including private dam owners, home owners associations, engineers, law and enforcement officers and emergency managers - gathered to benefit from lectures conducted by representatives from the National Weather Services (NWS), National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and OWRB. The workshops emphasized the importance of the EAP and its regular maintenance, defining emergency processes and related actions, roles of NRSC and NWS in improving or simplifying the emergency action plan, and reviewing OWRB rules and regulations. During the workshops, beneficial ideas were exchanged and means of communications were established amongst the attendees which could be advantageous in achieving the OWRB’s goal of keeping our state’s dams safe.

If you were unable to attend one of these workshops and would like a copy of the course materials, please email Emma Moradi.



Hydrology for Dam Safety Wrap-Up


Hydrology for Dam Safety Technical Seminar

In April, the OWRB hosted the Hydrology for Dam Safety technical seminar at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City. Twenty-two engineers attended the seminar, including many from private firms as well as municipal, county, state, and federal agencies. The course, led by Dr. Baxter Vieux and Dr. Jonathan Looper, focused on the standard methods of hydrological calculations with an emphasis on applying them to dam safety studies and design. Topics included watershed characterization, developing the probable maximum storm hyetograph for a particular region, understanding appropriate applications for various routing and transform methods, and using HEC-HMS computer modeling to demonstrate hydrological principles and analysis techniques.



Free Low Hazard Dam Inspections

The OWRB is offering a new program to provide free inspections of low hazard-potential dams. In addition to a complete inspection report, participating owners will receive a breach inundation map for their dam -- essential tools that can be used to both extend the life of dams and appurtenant infrastructure investments as well as monitor potential liability due to downstream development in flood-prone areas. In addition, because state law (OAC 785:25-9-1) requires owners to complete a dam inspection every five years, this program also provides an excellent opportunity for owners to learn more about inspection techniques and common maintenance issues.

The OWRB has received tremendous response on the low hazard dam inspection offer. In order to provide timely inspections for those who registered early, we have temporarily suspended registration for free inspections. Registration will re-open once those inspections are completed.


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