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Energy and Environment Cabinet

Division of Water

Division of Water
Dam Construction

A dam is defined as any impounding structure that is either 25 feet in height, measured from the downstream toe to the crest, or has a maximum impounding capacity of 50 acre-feet of water. Structures that fail to meet these criteria but have the potential to cause significant property damage or pose a threat to life in the downstream area are regulated in the same manner as dams. All such structures except federal dams and those permitted by the Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement must be reviewed, and a stream construction permit must be issued by this office.

Construction inspections are performed periodically and during critical stages of work. Upon completion of construction, the owner submits a notice of completion and as-constructed drawings. When as-constructed drawings are received, a final inspection is conducted. If all work is satisfactory, the owner is granted permission to impound water and the completed dam is placed on the inventory of dams maintained by the section.

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