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1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
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Dam Safety Publications, Videos, Bulletins and News

Dam Safety in Montana - General Information

Dams in Montana Brochure
Montana High Hazard Dams Map
To download the map, right-click on
the link and select Save Link As.

Get the latest Western Dam Engineering Technical Notes


Archive (Past Issues)

*NEW* Vol. 7 Issue 1 - Wise Up: DSS-WISE LITE as an Alternative Method for Breach Analysis and Consequence Estimation;  A Tool for Every Job: Statewide Probable Maximum and Extreme Precipitation Estimation

Webinars and Videos

MT PMP Bill Kappel Webinar - To download the video, right-click on the link and select Save Link As.

Dams 101 - Types of Dams and How They Work (mp4)

Piping Failure (wmv)

Overtopping Failure (wmv)

Perfect to Imperfect Dam (wmv) 

Slide Failure (wmv)

Hazard Creep (wmv)

Ruby Dam Rehabilitation (wmv)

Inspecting Your Montana Dam (wmv)

Installing Piezometers In Your Dam

Planning a Dam Construction Project - Permitting and the Design Review Process (MP4)

Planning a Dam Construction Project - Recommendations for Repair or Rehabilitation of Dams Not Permitted by Dam Safety (MP4)

Outlet Works Rehabilitation Guide for Small Dams

Dam Owner Digital Record Filing (Great West, 2016)

Dam Owner Emergency Intervention Toolbox (Gannett Fleming, 2016)

Liability of Dam Ownership in Montana

Funding Examples of Major Dam and Canal Infrastructure Projects in Montana (Great West Engineering)

Technical References

Extreme Storm Working Group Report
In 2016, the Montana Dam Safety Program assembled a group of experts to evaluate our methodology for determining the inflow design flood for dam spillway analysis in MT. This report summarizes the groups finding and recommendations.

Filters for Embankment Dams – Best Practices for Design and Construction
Developed by FEMA, ASDSO, USBR, FERC, NRCS and USACE, this document provides procedures and guidance for best practices concerning embankment dam filter design and construction and represents an effort to collect and disseminate current information and experience having a technical consensus. This document is intended for use by personnel familiar with embankment dams, such as designers, inspectors, construction oversight personnel and dam safety engineers.
Gradation Design of Sand and Gravel Filters (NRCS Part 633 National Engineering Handbook, Chapter 26) Chapter 26 presents criteria for determining the grain size distribution (gradation) of sand and gravel filters needed to prevent internal erosion or piping of soil in embankments or foundations of hydraulic structures.
Filter Diaphragms (NRCS Part 628 National Engineering Handbook, Chapter 45)
Chapter 45 presents criteria for design and installation of filter diaphragms around outlet conduits.
Getting Water Into Pipes – Not As Easy As It Seems (Mark Pabst, 2007)
Although it is generally been believed that water can flow freely into collector pipes from clean, free-draining surrounding soils, this has been found not to be true in all cases. The paper addresses the practical aspects of flow into drain pipes associated with embankment dams.
Plastic Pipe Used in Embankment Dams (Chapter 4 from FEMA 675 Technical Manual)
This chapter presents methodology for the structural design of the drainpipe and the hydraulic design for the collection of water into the drainpipe. This chapter also discusses the relationship between soil backfill and the drainpipe.
Chimney Filter / Drain Design and Construction Considerations
This technical note was developed by URS Corporation for the Montana Dam Safety Program to provide engineers practical guidance for the design and construction of chimney filter and drainage features for embankment dams. The focus is on small embankment dams facing outlet replacement.

New Research: Stress Analysis of Soils Adjacent to Outlet Conduits on Small Dams