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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-2074 | Fax: (406) 444-2684
Questions? Email us

Technical Notes

The Dam Safety Technical Notes are guidance manuals provided by the Montana Dam Safety Program to help engineers in their evaluation of high hazard dams throughout Montana. The methods found within these technical notes are accepted by the Montana Dam Safety Program and are common in engineering practice.

Technical Note 1 - Analysis of Spillway Capacity in Montana

Technical Note 1 (TN1) provides guidance to engineers engaged in the analysis and design of spillways for Montana high hazard dams. TN1 is intended for analyses related to high hazard dams regulated by the Montana Dam Safety Program, but the guidance provided can be used on other dams.

Technical Note 2 - Loss of Life Determination for Spillway Capacity Analysis

Montana spillway standards are risk based. As the potential for loss of life downstream of a dam increases, the spillway standard increases. Technical Note 2 (TN2) is provided to assist and guide engineers in estimating the potential loss of life downstream of Montana high hazard dams.

Technical Note 3 - Simplified Evacuation Mapping

Evacuation maps are a necessary component of emergency action plans. Technical Note 3 (TN3) describes Montana’s simplified cost effective procedures for developing evacuation maps.

Technical Note 4 - Chimney Filter/Drain Design and Construction Consideration

Technical Note 4 (TN4) is intended provide practical guidance on the design and construction of chimney filter and drainage features for embankment dams, particularly small embankment dams.

Technical Note 5 - (in development): Simplified Seismic Analysis Procedures for Montana Dams

Probabilistic Earthquake Hazard Maps for the State of Montana

Technical Note 6 - Downstream Hazard Classification Procedures for Montana Dams

Technical Note 6 documents methods and procedures used by the Montana Dam Safety program to conduct a downstream hazard determination.

Technical Note 7 - Guidelines for conducting a Potential Failure Mode Analysis for Montana Dams

Failure Mode Analysis is a useful tool for comprehensively looking at a dam. Results from a Failure Mode analysis can be used to direct future monitoring and identify repair priorities. A Failure Mode Analysis is not another engineering study….the dam owner/dam tender play a big role. Technical Note 7 describes how to conduct a cost effective simplified Failure Mode Analysis. Read how a Failure Mode Analysis can benefit you!

Technical Note 8 - Specifications Requirements for Dams

Technical Note 8 (TN8) is provided to assist and guide engineers in preparing construction specifications for Montana high hazard dams.

Technical Note 9 - Guidelines for Use of Pumps and Siphons for Reservoir Drawdown

Technical Note 9 (TN9) provides information to determine the best method to employ for reservoir drawdown. Both pumps and siphons effectively remove water from reservoirs and can provide the necessary increased capacity in emergency situations. Each site and event has unique circumstances which will determine the method best suited. This guidebook outlines a process using basic hydraulic and logistical considerations for determining the best method for reservoir drawdown. Part of this process includes outlining important factors to be used in decision making. Key topics for both pumps and siphons are explored in detail.

Contact Dam Safety
Dam Safety
DNRC Water Resources
1424 9th Avenue
PO Box 201601
Helena, MT 59620-1601

Bureau Chief
(406) 444-6816

Michele Lemieux, PE
Dam Safety Program Manager / Civil Engineer
(406) 444-6613

Chadrick Hill 
Civil Engineering Specialist
(406) 444-1358

Administrative Support
(406) 444-0862

Engineering Specialists
Regional Office Map 

Helena Regional Office
(406) 444-9724

Havre Regional Office
(406) 265-5516

Sam Johnson, EI
Billings Regional Office
(406) 247-4423

Larry Schock, CFM
Missoula Regional Office
(406) 542-5885

Marc Pitman, PE CFM
Kalispell  Regional Engineering Specialist
(406) 752-2713

Sterling Sundheim, CFM
Lewistown Regional Office
(406) 538-7459