ASDSO Dam Safety Toolbox

Record Keeping

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"Throughout project development (planning, site investigation, design, construction, initial reservoir filling, and operation), all data, computations, and engineering and management decisions should be documented. Documentation should cover investigation and design, construction plans and construction history, operation and maintenance instructions and history, damage and repairs and improvements, and periodic inspections during construction and operation. It should include, but not be limited to, memoranda, engineering reports, criteria, computations, drawings, and records of all major decisions pertaining to the safety of the dam." [1]

"One copy of all documents concerning the project should be assembled in a single project file. The file should be kept up to date and should be maintained as a permanent archival reference. A second file of the materials should always be easily accessible to responsible personnel for reference in future reviews and inspections, and in dealing with problems, repairs, etc. Both files should be continuously updated with records on problems, repairs, operation, instrumentation, and inspection for the life of the project. Information such as foundation reports and as-built drawings and maps should be permanently retained at the project and also at the agency's engineering design office." [1]

Types of Record Keeping


Learn more about the importance of keeping a dam record (

Best Practices Resources

Engineering Guidelines for the Evaluation of Hydropower Projects: Chapter 15- Supporting Technical Information Document, FERC


Revision ID: 7161
Revision Date: 07/11/2023