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Dam Safety Program

Monitors and regulates both private and public dams in Texas.

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

TCEQ staff presented practical and straightforward information on issues that affect anyone who owns or operates a dam including: state dam safety laws and regulations and enforcement, emergency action plans, inspection, and maintenance issues for all areas on a dam, and recommendations for correction.

The 2014 workshop presentations can be downloaded at the link: Dam Safety Workshop Presentations 2014

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

Guidance on Implementing Dam Safety Legislation September 1, 2013


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



Texas Administrative Code Title 30, Part 1, Chapter 299: Dams and Reservoirs


Guidelines for the Operation and Maintenance of Dams in Texas

Dam Removal Guidelines

Hydrologic and Hydraulic Guidelines for Dams in Texas

Design and Construction Guidelines for Dams in Texas

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)


20344—Information Sheet: Existing Dam (PDF) (DOC)

20345—Information Sheet: Proposed New Construction, Modification, Repair, Alteration, or Removal of a Dam (PDF) (DOC)

20346—Hydrologic and Hydraulic (H&H) Evaluation Summary (PDF) (DOC)

20347—Engineer’s Notification of Completion (PDF) (DOC)

20361—Dam Inspection Form (PDF) (DOC)

20366—Reporting Suspicious Dam Incidents (PDF) (DOC)

Presentations - 2014 Dam Safety Workshops

Session 2: Dam Failures (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)


For further information or assistance, contact the Dam Safety Program at 512-239-0326.