Dam Safety Program
The Dam Safety Program monitors and regulates both private and public dams in Texas. The program periodically inspects dams that pose a high or significant hazard and makes recommendations and reports to dam owners to help them maintain safe facilities.
This page links to Texas regulations on dams, manuals on dam safety, and forms used by the program. Some files linked from this page are in Portable Document Format (PDF). (Help with PDF).
UPDATE: Dam Safety Workshop
At the Dam Safety Workshops for Owners and Operators TCEQ staff present information on issues that affect anyone who owns or operates a dam including: state dam safety laws and regulations and enforcement, emergency action plans and maintenance issues for all areas on a dam, recommendations for correction, and results of the probable maximum precipitation study that is being completed. For information on future Workshops, please visit the Dam Safety Workshops for Owners and Operators page (https://www.tceq.texas.gov/p2/events/dam-safety.html) The 2016 workshop presentations can be downloaded at the link https://www.tceq.texas.gov/compliance/investigation/damsafetyprog.html
UPDATE: Dam Exemption
Effective September 1, 2013, dams that are located on private property, have a maximum impoundment capacity of less than 500 ac-ft, classified as low or significant hazard, located in a county with a population of less than 350,000 (as per 2010 census), and not located within the corporate limits of a municipality are exempt from safety requirements. Dam owners will still have to comply with maintenance and operation requirements. There is no exemption expiration date. You can view a map based on county population criteria at the following link: Exempt County Map
Emergency Action Plans
In accordance with Title 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 299, Dams and Reservoirs, §299.61(b), owners of significant and high hazard dams were required to submit an Emergency Action Plan, which may be a draft version, to the executive director for review by January 1, 2011. If you have any questions about the preparation and submittal of EAPs, please contact the Dam Safety Section at (512) 239-0326 for assistance.
The Guidelines for Developing Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) for Dams in Texas publication was revised in March 2012. The revised publication includes updates to the notification flowchart, EAP templates, inundation map guidance, and a glossary of dam safety terms.
Emergency Action Plans must be delivered to either: Warren D. Samuelson, P. E., Manager, Dam Safety Section or Megan Dutton, P. E., Dam Safety Section at the following address:
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 13087
Austin, TX 78711-3087
Procuring the Services of a Professional Engineer and List of Engineers:
Many actions/repairs at a dam require the services of a professional engineer. TCEQ Dam Safety Program maintains a document to answer the most commonly asked questions about hiring an engineer and to provide a list of engineers who have requested to be placed on a list. The document is available at the link: Engineers List
Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) Study
The TCEQ had a statewide Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) study completed for Texas and immediately surrounding regions in New Mexico and Mexico. This study produced gridded PMP values for the project domain at a spatial resolution of .025 decimal degrees by .025 decimal degrees (approximately 2.5-square miles, on average). Variations in topography, climate, and storm types across the region were explicitly taken into account. A large set of storm data were analyzed for use in developing the PMP values. These values replace those provided in Hydrometeorological Reports (HMRs) 51 and 55A. The Final Report and Appendices are provided in a pdf document. A user guide is also provided for obtaining the PMP data for particular drainage areas.
Guidelines for Developing Emergency Action Plans for Dams in Texas (PDF)
- Template for an Emergency Action Plan for a Large Dam (Appendix B) (DOC)
- Template for an Emergency Action Plan for an Intermediate or Small Dam (Appendix C) (DOC)
Presentations - 2016 Dam Safety Workshops
Session 1 – Texas Dam Safety Program (PDF)
Session 2 - Maintenance of Dams and Spillways (PDF)
Session 3 - Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) Study for Texas (PDF)
Presentations - 2015 Dam Safety Workshops
Session 1: Emergency Action Plans (PDF)
Session 2: Dam Safety Program Activities (PDF)
Session 3: Inspection and Maintenance of Dams and Spillways (PDF)
Presentations - 2014 Dam Safety Workshops
Session 2: Dam Failures (PDF)
For further information or assistance, contact the Dam Safety Program at 512-239-0326.