ASDSO Dam Safety Toolbox

Operation & Maintenance

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Learn more about the importance of regular O&M at a dam at

While a thorough and detailed design and construction process decreases the chance that major problems arise in the life span of a dam; without proper operation and maintenance (O&M) of the dam, the safety of the dam is put in jeopardy. Additionally, site conditions including changing upstream and downstream hydrology, deterioration of the embankment or concrete, development of new or additional seepage paths, etc. are subject to change over time. Therefore, in order to maintain a sufficient level of safety, consideration of changing conditions should inform any changes in operations and maintenance at a dam.

The dam owner is responsible to ensure that their dam is safely maintained and operated. State and federal regulators often provide guidance or enforce minimum requirements related to O&M procedures. O&M procedures should be documented in an O&M Manual.

Click to learn more about the following typical operation and maintenance activities:


Learn more about the importance of regular maintenance and inspection (


Revision ID: 4906
Revision Date: 12/05/2022