Download Documents

Featured Downloads


Living With Dams: Know Your Risks (2012)
Booklet prepared by ASDSO in conjunction with FEMA to help answer questions about dams: what purposes they serve, associated risks, guidance for those living near dams, and where to find further information. Booklet provides answers to the following questions: (1) Why should I care about dams? (2) What are the risks associated with dams? (3) Could I be affected by a dam? What is the dam failure flood inundation area? (4) Once I determine that my property is in a dambreak inundation area, what's next?


ASDSO Guidance Document: Model State Dam Rehabilitation Funding Program
Model law for state supervision of a low interest revolving dam rehabilitation loan program. 5 pp.

ASDSO Guidance Document: Owner-responsible Periodic Inspection Guidance
Considerations for implementing an owner-responsible periodic inspection program. 5 pp.

Catalog of FEMA Dam Safety Resources

Model State Dam Safety Program (FEMA 316, July 2007)
An outline of the key components of an effective dam safety program. (Large file - may require several minutes to download) Chapters: (1) Legislation and regulations (2) Permitting/approval of plans/authorization to Impound (3) Inspections and safety evaluations (4) Enforcement (5) Emergency response (6) Program staffing and funding (7) Program staff and dam owner-education training (8) Dam safety program - public relations plan (9) Glossary of terms Appendices: (i) Model state law (ii) Example permit requirements (iii) Sample inspection checklist (iv) Penalties for violations (v) Sample emergency action plans (vi) Organizational charts (vii) Training courses and technical guides (viii) Sample database fields (ix) Budget preparation (x) Public outreach tool samples (xi) Sample fee structures

Suggested References for State Dam Safety Programs

Summary of State Dam Safety Laws and Regulations (2000)

The Costs of Rehabilitating Our Nation's Dams (Jan. 2009)
A methodology, estimate, and proposed funding mechanisms; report prepared by a task committee of ASDSO.

The National Dam Safety Program: 25 Years of Excellence


Conduits through Embankment Dams: Best Practices (FEMA L-266)

Design of Small Dams (USBR)

Developing Emergency Action Plans Using the NRCS Sample EAP “Fillable Form” Template (2004)
USDA NRCS/ASDSO Sample EAP documents for earthen high hazard dams

DHS, Dams Sector Crisis Management Handbook

Embankment Dam Failure Analysis [FEMA 541] (2005)
Synopsis of findings from a research workshop held June 26-28, 2001 in Oklahoma City

Emergency action planning for state-regulated high-hazard potential dams: findings, recommendations, and strategies (FEMA 608, 8/07)
NDSRB Task Group on Emergency Action Planning and Response report

Engineering Guidelines for the Evaluation of Hydropower Projects (FERC)

Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety (FEMA 93)

Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety: Emergency Action Planning for Dam Owners (FEMA 64)

Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety: Hazard Potential Classification System for Dams (FEMA 333)

Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety: Selecting and Accommodating Inflow Design Floods for Dams (FEMA 94)

Federal Guidelines for Earthquake Analyses & Dam Design (FEMA 65)

FEMA's Risk MAP Strategy - Integrating Mapping, Risk Assessment, and Mitigation Planning; Draft Strategy (2008)

Filters for Embankment Dams - Best Practices for Design and Construction

Geotextiles in Embankment Dams, FEMA P-730CD

Glossary of Terms (FEMA 148)

National Engineering Handbook (USDA NRCS)

Plastic Pipe Used in Embankment Dams

Risk Prioritization Tool for Dams

Seepage through Embankment Dams (FEMA 535)

Technical Manual: Conduits through Embankment Dams (FEMA 484)


Training Aids for Dam Safety (TADS)
Federal/State developed program designed to train individuals involved with or having responsibility for the safety of dams, including engineers, technicians, dam owners, water resource managers, public officials, and the general public. TADS modules are self-contained, self-paced text supplemented by video presentations. The modules can be used in unique ways to tailor programs to meet individual or organizational needs. There are 21 TADS modules, arranged in 3 components: 1. Dam Safety Awareness, Organization and Implementation - 5 modules, primarily for dam owners and operators 2. Dam Safety Inspection - 10 modules, designed for engineers with little or no inspection experience, and technicians with some familiarity with dams 3. Data Review, Investigation and Analysis, and Remedial Action for Dam Safety - 6 modules, designed for dam safety program managers, dam owners and operators, and experienced engineers. The emphasis of these modules is on the when, why, and typically what investigations and analyses are conducted. Order a DVD of the TADS series from FEMA through the link above. Download individual components through the following links:

AWARENESS 1: Dam Safety Awareness [WORKBOOK]
Emphasizes the importance of dam safety, and provides information on the major features of dams and how they function, the causes and consequences of dam failure, responsibilities and liabilities of dam owners, considerations for the safety of the public around dams, and the elements and implementation of an effective dam safety program.

AWARENESS 1a: Dam Safety Awareness [VIDEO]
Video to accompany workbook.

AWARENESS 2: How to Organize a Dam Safety Program [WORKBOOK]
Provides step by step guidance on developing a dam safety program. Presents information on the components of a dam safety program, the steps needed to establish those components, and the resources available to help establish and operate a program. 119 pp. (workbook only).

AWARENESS 3: How to Organize an Operation and Maintenance Program [WORKBOOK]
Explains the importance of maintenance to dam safety, and provides information on planning, implementing, and evaluating an operation and maintenance program. 134 pp. (workbook only)

AWARENESS 4: How to Develop and Implement an Emergency Action Plan [WORKBOOK]
Emphasizes the importance of an Emergency Action Plan (EAP), defines the components of an EAP, and provides step by step guidance on developing and implementing an EAP. The module also provides guidelines for subsequently reviewing and updating an EAP. 60 pp.

AWARENESS 4a: How to Develop and Implement an Emergency Action Plan [VIDEO]
Video to accompany workbook above. RT: 10:00

AWARENESS 5: Identification of Visual Dam Safety Deficiencies [WORKBOOK]
Workbook to accompany video below. 23 pp.

AWARENESS 5a: Identification of Visual Dam Safety Deficiencies [VIDEO]
Provides owners, operators, and others who have reason to be at a dam on a regular basis with guidelines for the visual detection of some of the more common dam safety deficiencies. Video begins with example of 1963 Baldwin Hills dam failure, where many lives were saved because of a worker's observations.

INSPECTION 1: Preparing to Conduct a Dam Safety Inspection [WORKBOOK]
Describes the different types of dam safety inspections. The possible composition of the inspection teams, reviewing data, equipment needs, and inspection plans and checklists are discussed. (workbook only)

INSPECTION 2: Documenting and Reporting Findings from a Dam Safety Inspection [WORKBOOK]
Focus is on the techniques and procedures used to document an inspection, and the formats and writing of inspection reports. (workbook only)

INSPECTION 3: Inspection of Embankment Dams [WORKBOOK]
Provides guidance on how to inspect the slopes, crest, and adjacent areas of an embankment dam, and on identifying deficiencies.

INSPECTION 3a: Inspection of Embankment Dams [VIDEO]
Video in 3 segments (Slopes and Crests, RT: 5:00; Seepage, 6:00; Deficiencies, 14:30) accompanies workbook above. Total RT: 26:30.

INSPECTION 4: Inspection of Concrete and Masonry Dams [WORKBOOK]
Provides guidance on how to inspect the faces, crest, interior, and adjacent areas of concrete and masonry dams, and on identifying deficiencies. 116 pp.

INSPECTION 4a: Inspection of Concrete and Masonry Dams [VIDEO]
Videotape accompanies workbook above. RT: 23:00

INSPECTION 5: Inspection of the Foundation, Abutments, and Reservoir Rim [WORKBOOK]
Provides instruction on identifying deficiencies commonly affecting the foundation, abutments, and reservoir rim. 140 pp. (workbook only)

INSPECTION 6: Inspection of Spillways and Outlet Works [WORKBOOK]
Provides guidance on how to inspect entrance channels, intake structures, control sections, water conveyances, energy dissipation sections, and return channels, and on identifying deficiencies. 218 pp.

INSPECTION 6a: Inspection of Spillways and Outlet Works [VIDEO]
Video accompanies workbook above. Segment 1: inspection techniques and deficiencies for entrance channels, intake structures, and control sections. Segment 2: water conveyance sections: discharge channels, conduits, tunnels. Total RT: 34:00.

INSPECTION 7: Inspection and Testing of Gates, Valves, and Other Mechanical Systems [WORKBOOK]
Gives specific guidance on how to inspect common types of gates and valves, electrical and hydraulic power systems, auxiliary power systems, hoists and operators, and ancillary equipment, and on identifying deficiencies. 173 pp.

INSPECTION 7a: Inspection and Testing of Gates, Valves, and Other Mechanical Systems [VIDEO]
Video accompanies workbook above. RT: 21:00.

INSPECTION 8: Instrumentation for Embankment and Concrete Dams [WORKBOOK]
Explains the purpose of instrumentation and describes how common instruments work. Reading, recording, and interpreting data are discussed. 211 pp.

INSPECTION 8a: Instrumentation for Embankment and Concrete Dams [VIDEO]
Video accompanies workbook above. 3 segments: (1) Measuring water pressure (2) Measuring seepage (3) Measuring structural movement. RT: 27:08

INSPECTION 9: Identification of Material Deficiencies [WORKBOOK]
Describes the characteristics and causes of dam safety deficiencies that may occur in the different types of materials that comprise dams. 194 pp.

INSPECTION 9a: Identification of Material Deficiencies [VIDEO]
Video accompanies workbook above. Segment 1: deficiencies in concrete. Segment 2: Deficiencies in earth and rock, metals, and synthetic materials. RT: 22:30.

REVIEW 1: The Dam Safety Process [WORKBOOK]
Provides an overview of dam safety as a continuing process, including monitoring dams, analyzing deficiencies, and taking corrective action to remedy unsafe conditions. 84 pp. (workbook only)

REVIEW 3: Evaluation of Hydraulic Adequacy [WORKBOOK]
Provides information about which dam features are affected by hydraulic forces and presents methods of investigation and analysis of hydraulic conditions. Remedial measures for repairing damage caused by hydraulic forces discussed. 113 pp. (workbook only)

REVIEW 5: Evaluation of Embankment Dam Stability and Deformation [WORKBOOK]
Topics discussed include the purpose of evaluating the structural stability of existing embankment dams, the data that should be reviewed and evaluated relative to settlement and stability, methods that may be used to conduct settlement and stability analyses, and remedial measures for excessive settlement and potentially unstable embankment dams. (workbook only)


Emergency Preparedness Guidelines for Levees: A Guide for Owners and Operators
Basic guidance on how to develop an emergency preparedness plan; also introduces basic security concepts.

Levee Safety Connections, Sept. 2011
Quarterly newsletter with status updates on the recommendations for a proposed National Levee Safety Program, activities of the National Committee on Levee Safety, and information about the state of levees in the nation.

Process for the NFIP Levee System Evaluation (USACE Engineering Circular 1110-2-6067)

So, You Live Behind a Levee!
This booklet was created by ASCE and partnering organizations to help answer questions about levees and their associated risks.

The National Levee Challenge: Levees and the FEMA Flood Map Modernization Initiative
Interagency Levee Policy Review Committee report recommends changes to current FEMA levee policies, as stated in the National Flood Insurance Program regulations and FEMA guidance documents; identifies outreach and public awareness challenges related to remapping levee-affected areas; and proposes cooperative development by FEMA and the USACE of a GIS-based levee inventory.


Failure Modes: Overtopping (Flash Player)

Failure Modes: Overtopping (Windows Media Player)

Failure Modes: Piping (Flash Player)

Failure Modes: Piping (Windows Media Player)

Failure Modes: Slide Failure (Windows Media Player)

Hazard Creep (Windows Media Player)

Perfect To Imperfect Dam (Flash Player)

Perfect To Imperfect Dam (Windows Media Player)


NDSP RW: Dam Safety Research Needs (1999)
Report from a workshop held April 11, 1999 in Washington, D.C. to assess and prioritize needs of the States with respect to research and development, and to develop an agenda to address the needs.

NDSP RW: Dam Spillways [FEMA 536] (2005)
Research workshop report documents the state of practice concerning cost-effective techniques for the enlargement, modification, inspection, monitoring, and maintenance of dam service and emergency spillways.

NDSP RW: Final Report on Coordination and Cooperation with the European Union on Embankment Failure Analysis [FEMA 602CD]
Report integrates EU and U.S. research findings and results related to earthen embankment overtopping failure over a 3-year period.

NDSP RW: Hydrologic Issues for Dams (FEMA 538)
Report on the research workshop held November 14-15, 2001 at the Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC) in Davis, California

NDSP RW: Impacts of Plants & Animals on Earthen Dams
Report from the Research Needs Workshop on Plant and Animal Impacts on Earthen Dams held November 30-December 2, 1999 at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

NDSP RW: Outlet Works (FEMA 539)
Report from the workshop held May 25-27, 2004, in Denver, Colorado

NDSP RW: Predicting Peak Outflow from Breached Embankment Dams (2010)
Final report funded by the National Dam Safety Program and prepared for the National Dam Safety Review Board Steering Committee on Dam Breach Equations by Michael Pierce, Chris Thornton and Steven Abt.

NDSP RW: Risk Assessment for Dams (2001)
Report from the ASDSO/FEMA research workshop held March 7-9, 2000 at Utah State University.

NDSP RW: Spillway Gates (FEMA 537)
Report from a workshop held January 5-6, 2000

NDSP TS19: Filters, Drains, and Geotextiles in Dams and Levees (2012)
Materials from the seminar held February 22 - 23, 2012 at FEMA's Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, MD

NDSP TS20: Overtopping Protection for Dams (2013)
Materials from the seminar held February 20-21, 2013 at FEMA's Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, MD

NDSP TS21: Current and Available Guidelines, Tools, and Resources for Dam Design, Evaluation, Remediation, Operation, and Maintenance (2014)
Materials from the seminar held February 19-20, 2014 at FEMA's Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, MD

Association of State Dam Safety Officials, 450 Old Vine St., Lexington, KY 40507 | 859/550-2788 |

Copyright © 2017. Association of State Dam Safety Officials. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Statement | Disclaimer
Site designed and programmed by Hammond Communications Group, Inc.