By - Jon Brown

Dam Safety 101
What every dam owner should know about dam safety
November 19-20, 2020 | Online :: Central Time

Download PDFPrint Event Details


In the aftermath of the Orrville Dam crisis in 2017 and then the dam failures in Michigan this past summer, dam safety has become a very hot topic.  Dam owners are responsible for the operation and maintenance of their facilities. Depending on the purpose of the dam (i.e. hydropower, water supply, flood control, etc.), the regulatory requirements are defined by either state or federal requirements. Dam owners need to have a strong understanding of their roles and responsibilities to allow them to operate these facilities safely and appropriately.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe what dams are used for
  • Provide an overview of the types of dams
  • Explain the regulatory framework for dams
  • Provide an overview of key dam owner responsibilities including:
    • Safety Inspections
    • Operation and Maintenance Activities
    • Rehabilitation/Improvements
  • Explain Emergency Action Planning
  • Provide an overview of FERC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
  • Describe how to engage a qualified dam safety consultant



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 0.9 CEUs for this event.


Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must log in each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course

Instructional Methods

Power Point presentations and open discussion will be used


Thursday, November 19, 2020 Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. :: Log In

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. :: Course Timing

12:00 – 12:30 p.m. :: Lunch Break

Introduction to Dams

    1. Uses
      • Water Supply
      • Hydropower
      • Flood Control
    2. Types of Dams and Trade-offs
      • Earthen Embankment
      • Gravity Dams – Concrete & Stone Masonry
      • Arch Dams
      • Composite Structures
    3. Dam Safety Regulations & Requirements
      • State Dam Safety Regulations
      • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Guidelines and Requirements
      • Explain Size and Hazard Classes


    1. Routine – Self Performed
    2. Safety – Performed by Independent PE
    3. What to Look for
      • Mechanics
      • Expectations
    4. Case Review

Operation and Maintenance

    1. Operation and Maintenance Plans
    2. Instrumentation Readings and Data Reduction
    3. Vegetation Management
    4. Gates and Valves
    5. Reservoir Operations
    6. Minimum Flow Releases

Emergency Action Plans

    1. Purpose and Overview
    2. What do they Include?
    3. How are they Used?
    4. Exercises and Drills

Friday,  November 20, 2020 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. :: Log In

900 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. :: Course Timing

Rehabilitation Design & Construction

    1. Typical Repairs/Improvements
    2. Types of Engineering Analyses
    3. Critical Issues Affecting Design
    4. Critical Issues Affecting Construction

Typical Permitting Requirements for Dam Rehabs

    1. Dam Safety
    2. Environmental
    3. Historical

Overview of FERC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    1. Changes to the Part 12 Program
    2. Owner Dam Safety Program

Engaging a Qualified Dam Safety Consultant

    1. What Should You Look for in Your Consultant?
    2. Procurement Approach
    3. Establishing a Long-Term Relationship


Matt Taylor, Principal and Senior Vice President, GZA Associates

Matthew Taylor is a Principal and Senior Vice President at GZA.  He leads GZA’s Metro Boston Dam and Levee Safety practice group.  He holds a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Rhode Island and an MS in Civil Engineering (Geotechnical) from Northeastern University.  He is a registered professional engineer in CT, MA, ME, RI, NJ and NY and is a FERC-approved independent consultant.  His current duties include dam and levee safety inspections, seepage and stability analyses, subsurface explorations and instrumentation, preparation of EAP’s, hydropower feasibility studies, and relicensing assignments, and management of the dam rehabilitation and removal projects from inspection through construction administration.  He is a past chair of the BSCES Geo-Institute, past chair of the EBC NE Dam Management Committee, and a member of ASDSO, USSD, and NHA.

Online Delivery

We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

  • You will receive a meeting invitation will include a link to join the meeting.
  • Separate meeting invitations will be sent for the morning and afternoon sessions of the course.
    • You will need to join the appropriate meeting at the appropriate time.
  • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
  • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.


Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all registrants for three business days after the event

Event Standard RateAttendees

By clicking Accept or closing this message, you consent to our cookies on this device in accordance with our cookie policy unless you have disabled them. more information

By clicking Accept or closing this message, you consent to our cookies on this device in accordance with our cookie policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them. We use cookies during the registration process and to remember member settings.