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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
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Engineer Inspections and Guidance


All high hazard dams require an inspection at least once every five years in order to apply for an operation permit.  Requirements for the inspection and the report are described in the Five Year Engineer's Inspection To-Do-List

Typical reports contain an inspection checklist Five Year Inspection Report Template and a written report.  The written report should contain:

  • Evaluation of compliance with standards (reference previous reports or conduct a new analysis)
  • Engineers assessment of the dam and recommended safe operating level
  • Recommended repairs and a time schedule for completing those repairs
  • Recommended maintenance and a time schedule for completing needed maintenance
  • Review of Instrumentation
  • Review of owner's dam safety program
    • Annual owners inspection procedures and reporting
    • Operation and Maintenance Manual
    • Emergency Action Plan



Before DNRC can issue an Operation Permit, the High Hazard Dam Owner must agree to follow the Engineer's recommendations and state a timeline to meet the recommendations. Several forms are available to assist dam owners with this task: