Technical Notes

Technical Notes provide provide formal guidance to engineers with Montana specific dam safety related analyses and procedures.  Learn More

Dam Safety Program Webinars and Videos

Probable Maximum Precipitation in Montana (2019)
This webinar was recorded in 2019 and provides an overview of the state of practice in Montana for determining the Probable Maximum Precipitation.

Ruby Dam Rehabilitation
This video tells the fascinating story of the Ruby Dam Rehabilitation.

Inspecting Your Montana Dam
Tips, Advice and Instructions for completing a Dam Owner Annual inspection.

Instructions for Installing Shallow "Beck" Piezometers in Your Dam
Beck piezometers are shallow temporary piezometers that can be installed with equipment and tools available at a local hardware store. They can provide valuable information on seepage conditions at the toe of a dam for minimal cost.

Planning a Dam Construction Project - Permitting and the Design Review Process
Careful planning of a high hazard dam construction project is important for success. Learn more!

Planning a Dam Construction Project - Recommendations for Repair or Rehabilitation of Dams Not Permitted by Dam Safety
Even if your dam is not high hazard and does not require permits, careful planning is important for success. Learn more by watching this video.

Montana Dam Safety Program Publications

Seepage & Stability Modeling Guidance for Embankment Dams (AECOM, 2021)

This document provides practical guidance for dam owners and engineers on seepage and slope stability modeling of embankment dams.  A must read for all modelers considering a model that supports a dam design decision.

Dam Owner Emergency Intervention Toolbox (Gannett Fleming, 2016)
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. Forms and associated calculators can be found on the Cool Tools for Dam Safety Page.

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.

New Research: Stress Analysis of Soils Adjacent to Outlet Conduits on Small Dams
This report discusses research conducted by DOWL that evaluates the soil stresses that must be considered in a design when rehabilitating outlet works on small dams.

Guidelines for Use of Pumps and Siphons for Reservoir Drawdown
This publication developed by Morrison-Maeirle provides guidance 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.

Chimney Filters and Drain Design Construction Considerations for Dams
This publication provides guidance on the proper design and construction of chimney filters and drains.This technical note is intended to provide practical guidance for use by dam owners and engineers for the design and construction of chimney filter and drainage features for embankment dams, particularly small embankment dams. This technical note is not intended to be an all-inclusive guide for design of filter and drain systems. In many instances, the document directs readers to other references that provide more detailed information. In addition, an extensive list of references on the topic is provided at the end of this document.

Dam Owner Digital Record Filing (Great West, 2016)
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