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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
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Cool Tools for Dam Safety

A. *NEW* Dam Owner Digital Record Filing (Great West, 2016)
Illustrate the conscientious, non-negligent management of your dams and canals.  Should the unexpected happen, your documentation of inspections, maintenance and operation could be worth its weight in gold.  The technology of today makes it relatively simple to digitize paper documents so that they can be efficiently stored, categorized and retrieved for later use.  With recent advances in cellular phones, digital files can be accessed from virtually anywhere the internet is available.  However, there is an art to electronic record keeping.  The DNRC is pleased to provide a new guideline procedure and record keeping tool for use by Montana Dam Operators.

This tool provides tips and procedural guidance to organize your documents and emails electronically in order to memorialize both operational and institutional knowledge.  The suggested filing structure provides strategies (in the form of 'How-to' PDFs) that can be employed by Dam Owners and Operators to better maintain their records using digital filing techniques.  This guidance is designed to help Operators:

  • Minimize liability
  • Increase awareness and efficiency
  • Improve emergency response procedures
  • Better document knowledge and history
  • Organize digital files
  • Save correspondence (with special emphasis on Emails)
  • Create and utilize PDF files
  • Backup data
  • Implement useful file naming conventions

Download Dam Owner Digital Record Filing here

B. Dam Owner Emergency Intervention Toolbox (Gannett Fleming, 2016)
History has shown us that successful intervention has prevented many dam failures.  An "intervention" is not always straight forward; sometimes more harm can be done than good.  Typically there is limited time to react and prepare.  Recognizing the need for such a dam safety resource related to intervention, the Montana DNRC, in collaboration with other partnering State dam safety agencies and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), developed a dam emergency response toolbox for dam owners and other dam safety professionals.

The Dam Owner Emergency Intervention Toolbox is a collection of helpful resources and case study summaries.  The toolbox contains innovative and effective emergency response solutions, best practices, response techniques, and other resources related to providing effective intervention during a dam emergency.  This toolbox can be used for emergency planning efforts, risk reduction, and dam owner training and outreach.

Click on the links below to download the toolbox:


C. Embankment Dam Reference Toolbox (EDRT) Version 2.0 (2014)
The Embankment Dam Reference Toolbox (EDRT) otherwise known as the “Swiss Army Knife” for dam designers was recently upgraded. Sponsored by the states of Wyoming and Montana, funded using National Dam Safety Act grant funds and developed by DOWL HKM, the EDRT is a compilation of state and federal resources pertaining to the design of small and intermediate embankment dams. The initial version of EDRT was released in 2012. Between 2012 and 2014, many federal and state organizations updated their standards and guidelines. The EDRT contains these updates, a new “General Guidelines” page and improved usability and functionality.

References are categorized under the general categories of Embankment Design; Spillway Design; Outlet Works and Structural Design. Each broad category includes key references and supplemental information, much of which is organized into sub-categories such as Foundations and Construction Materials; Geotechnical Analysis; Filters/Drains; Instrumentation; Conduits; Erosion Protection; Air Vents; and more. The EDRT is available on a single flash drive, accessible from virtually anywhere.

D. Dam Specifications Review Tool Final Version 1.0
Specifications – always a challenge to review and write, especially for dam construction projects. To assist engineers that review and write dam specifications, AECOM, out of Denver Colorado developed the Dam Specification Review Tool version 1.0. The tool was developed in Microsoft Excel 2010 and contains indexed worksheets that pertain to major parts of a dam construction project, including general requirements, earthwork, drainage pipe, concrete and water control. Each worksheet systematically reminds users of important things that need to be considered through a series of targeted questions. The Tool addresses the most commonly used dam construction topics. Flexibility is provided through the addition of worksheets that can be tailored for a specific project or agency requirements.

This project was funded by the National Dam Safety Act Assistance to States Grant awarded to Montana. Version 1.0 has incorporated comments provided during the Beta test.

Download Dam Specifications Review Tool here  (Excel file)