Tuesday, June 3, 2014

National Dam Safety Awareness Day

Ohio Department of Natural Resources -- Ahead of National Dam Safety Awareness Day, ODNR officials announced that efforts to improve the safety of state-owned dams continue at nine sites throughout the state.  Safety risk-reduction construction projects are underway at Lake Alma, Pike Lake, Pond Lick Lake, Roosevelt Lake, Portage Lakes, Grand Lake St. Marys, Dow Lake, Jefferson Lake and Acton Lake dams, agency officials said. Each site is classified as a "high hazard potential," meaning sudden failure could threaten property or persons downstream - not a reflection of the dam's condition.  Additional dam risk reduction projects, which will focus on correcting deficiencies caused by age, structural design and wear, are expected to take place over the next two years thanks to additional capital project funding that will become available July 1.


The state of Ohio through ODNR owns and maintains 179 dams statewide, which include 56 
Class I, high-hazard dams. ODNR also regulates more than 1,500 publicly and privately-owned 
dams through its Ohio Dam Safety Program. 

The majority of these dams are either privately-owned (68 percent) or are owned by local 
governments (23 percent) and are typically used for water supply, flood control and recreation. 
There are approximately 30 federally-owned dams in Ohio that are owned, operated and 
regulated by the federal government through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). 

The goal of the Ohio Dam Safety Program is to enhance public safety by ensuring that dams do 
not present unacceptable risks to people, property and the environment. One step toward 
meeting this goal is performing periodic dam safety inspections across Ohio. These certified 
inspections may result in program officials directing dam owners, including the state of Ohio, to 
implement needed repairs or other risk-reduction measures and prepare for dam emergencies. 

Existing and newly approved state capital appropriations earmarked specifically for dam risk- 
reduction projects statewide include: 

 Assessments of existing conditions at state-owned dams. 
 Design and construction to reduce risk and bring state-owned dams into compliance 
with dam safety standards. 
 Improving dam emergency response preparedness by ensuring Emergency Action Plans are updated. 

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