Our dam safety guidelines provide dam owners, operators, and design engineers with information about activities, procedures, and requirements involved in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of dams in Washington state.

Guidance documents

Part I – General Information and Ownership Responsibilities

This document contains general information about statutory authority, dam safety activities, and dam owner responsibilities for completed projects.

Part II – Project Planning and Approval

This document provides information on the specific activities and actions that are involved in project planning and in the plan review and construction permit process. An overview of the planning process is provided along with a list of permits and approvals that are normally involved. Submittal requirements and obligations of dam owners during project construction, operation, maintenance, and inspection are identified.

Part III – An Owner's Guidance Manual

This document is a reference manual for dam owners to use in developing plans for operation, monitoring, annual inspection, and long-term maintenance of their facilities. Emphasis is given to the importance of including procedures for inspection, monitoring, and maintenance as part of the normal operation of a project.

Part IV – Dam Design and Construction

This document outlines a rational engineering approach to address the majority of cases. Individual projects may pose unique problems that require specialized measures. Where engineers face such cases, it will be their responsibility to demonstrate that their approach satisfactorily addresses the pertinent engineering issues.