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Inspection Report Format

Contact: Byron Lane 517-281-6821

INSPECTION REPORT FORMAT 

Part 315, Dam Safety, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended (NREPA), requires that dam owners submit an inspection report that evaluates the condition of the dam and is prepared by a licensed professional engineer. 

The inspection report is to be submitted at least once every 3 years for high hazard potential dams, once every 4 years for significant hazard potential dams, and once every 5 years for low hazard potential dams. 

According to Part 315, an inspection report must include the following: 

  • An evaluation of the dam's condition, spillway capacity, operational adequacy, and structural integrity 
  • A determination of whether deficiencies exist that could lead to failure of the dam 
  • Recommendations for maintenance, repair, and alterations of a dam that are necessary to eliminate any deficiencies 

Rule 10 of the administrative rules for Part 315 specifies that an inspection report must include, at a minimum, the following parts: 

1) A title sheet that includes the following information: 

  • Name of the dam 
  • Inventory identification number 
  • County and river or stream where the dam is located 
  • Name, address and telephone number of the owner(s) and operator(s) 
  • Hazard potential classification 
  • Name of the dam inspector(s) 
  • Date of the inspection 
  • Name, address, registration number, and signature of the licensed professional engineer who prepares the inspection report 

2) A conclusions and recommendations section that includes the following information: 

  • An evaluation of the dam's overall condition and a summary of the findings of the field inspection and analyses contained in the report 
  • Identification of any deficiencies that, if left uncorrected, could lead to the failure of the dam 
  • Prioritization of recommendations to correct observed deficiencies or operation and maintenance items for the dam 
  • Recommendations for further detailed studies or investigations, including an assessment of the appropriateness of the current hazard potential classification, if necessary 

3) A project information section that includes the following information: 

  • Description of the dam, outlet, spillway, and other principal features, together with pertinent data 
  • Purpose of the dam 
  • Summary of available design, geotechnical, maintenance, construction, repair, and alteration information and operating history 
  • Reference to past inspection reports 

4) A field inspection section that briefly describes the physical condition of the principal features of the dam and appurtenant structures, including the impoundment level, as they were observed during the field inspection 

5) A structural stability section that includes a visual assessment of the stability of the dam based on available data, observations made during the inspection, and the results of any calculations that are performed 

6) A hydrologic and hydraulic section that includes an evaluation of the spillway capacity, including a description of pertinent available information, such as: 

  • Hydrologic design data 
  • Drainage area 
  • Floods of record 
  • Previous evaluations 

7) An operation and maintenance section that includes the following: 

  • An assessment of operating equipment and procedures. 
  • Evaluation of the current maintenance plan. 

8) Appendices that include the following: 

  • A map that shows the location of the dam 
  • Engineering plans of the dam, if available, or sketches of the dam and its principal parts, including a plan view and cross sectional views of pertinent features 
  • Photographs of the dam, downstream channel, and any deficiencies cited in the report 
  • Calculations or computer data that are referenced in the report 

Emergency Action Plans 

Rule 11 requires owners of high and significant hazard potential dams to submit Emergency Action Plans (EAP's) to the DEQ with documentation that the plan has been submitted to the county or local emergency management coordinator. When preparing inspection reports, the owner shall determine if the plan is up-to-date and submit any revisions to the DEQ and the county or local emergency management coordinator. 

For additional information, please contact: 

Dam Safety Program
DEQ, Water Resources Division
P.O. Box 30458
Lansing, Michigan 48909-7958
517-281-6821

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