DEEP: Dams

Connecticut Dam Safety Program

{Collins Company Dam on the Farmington River in Canton}
Collins Company Dam, Canton

Proposed Dam Safety Regulation: Notice of Decision to Take Action 

The Notice published on October 1, 2015 by the Secretary of the State can be found by selecting the above link and scrolling down to find the Link to Notice N-15-1001-1. Public comments were accepted through April 10, 2015.

General Permits: Three new dam safety general permits were signed on October 16, 2015 and are now available for use. You can view the permits and related fact sheets, filing, and notice forms by selecting the link below:

Dam Safety General Permits GP-014, GP-015, and GP-016   

Informational Meeting:  Changes in Connecticut's Dam Safety Program

On May 1, 2014, over 80 attendees came to DEEP to learn about changes to the Dam Safety Program.  Presentations were given regarding new inspection requirements, emergency action plan regulations, and proposed new general permits.  The meeting was also broadcast over the internet to 25 additional attendees. 

The presentations can be seen by selecting the links below:
Proposed General Permits for Dam Safety in CT (PDF)

The list of attendees and answers to questions received can be seen by selecting the links below:
Questions and Answers from the May 1, 2014 Informational Meeting (PDF)

Webinar for Dam Owners
On July 15, 2014 DEEP’s Dam Safety Section held a webinar for dam owners entitled "Changes in Connecticut’s Dam Safety Program.  Use the link below the summary table to view the video.
Description Time Range
Arthur Christian: Introduction
 Background of Dam Safety Program
 Proposed Regulations
 Inspection Procedure, Forms, Miscellaneous
 Question & Answer Session

Elizabeth Napier: Emergency Action Plans
 Question & Answer Session

Peter Spangenberg: Proposed General Permits
  Question & Answer Session; Conclusion

0 to 01:37
01:38 to 09:57
 9:58 to 15:39
15:40 to 44:16
44:17 to 54:12

54:13 to 01:26:00
01:26:01 to 01:37:55

01:37:56 to 02:01:06
02:01:07 to 02:04:27


State Owned Dams - Engineering Services

Dam Safety Program - Background:

Dams in Connecticut: Their History, Use and Regulation

Dam Safety Statute Section 22a-401

Public Act 2013-197 An Act Concerning Dam Safety and Mosquito Control

Dam Safety Regulations (PDF) (Valid until proposed changes are adopted)

December 2013 Informational Mailer (PDF)  Sent to owners of high and significant hazard dams.

Lists of High, Significant, and Moderate Hazard Dams in Connecticut.

Lists include last known owner, registration and recordation statuses. These lists are generated from the DEEP Dam Safety database. There may be outdated information. Please contact Dam Safety staff with any updated information.

Listing of Dams sorted by Dam Owner (Excel) (Includes high, significant and moderate hazard class dams only)

Listing of Dams sorted by Dam ID# (Excel) (Includes high, significant and moderate hazard class dams only

(If you do not have Excel, you can download the Free Excel Viewer (link to Microsoft))

Dam Inspections:
Note to dam owners: On January 8, 2015, a second round of letters were sent to owners of high, significant, and moderate dam owners notifying them that their dams are due for inspection during the 2015 calendar year.  A number of dam owners with dams that were due for inspection during the 2014 calendar year have not yet inspected their dams. Some have been granted extensions and others have received Notices of Violation for failing to inspect. If you received a Notice of Violation you should contact the Dam Safety Program as soon as possible to discuss the matter.

Engineering Firms Responding to a Request for Dam Safety Qualifications - Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (leave DEEP website)

Inspection Report Form
Two versions of the Inspection Report Form are available:  One for taking hand notes in the field and one for electronic completion and submittal. 
Inspection Report Form  (Fillable Word - for submission to DEEP)

Inspection Report Form (Field Use) - Print and use to take notes in the field (Word)
Inspection Report Form (Field Use) - Print and use to take notes in the field (PDF)
Dam Registration:

All dams must be registered. Please review the fact sheet below. Before filling out a dam registration form, you should verify that you or a former owner did not already register the dam. Contact the Dam Safety Program staff with any questions.
Dam Registration Form - Contact the Dam Safety Program staff to get a form. See below for contact information. 

To assist in the completion of a dam registration form, a diagram of a typical dam has been prepared and is available by selecting the following link:

Sketch of a Dam (PDF) 

Dam Recordation: 

Effective October 1, 2007, Owners of High and Significant Hazard dams are required to file a Notice of a High Hazard Dam or a Notice of A Significant Hazard Dam on the Municipal Land Records. The Notice form and instructions can be found here:
Notice of a High Hazard Dam or a Significant Hazard Dam 



Individual Permit: A Dam Safety Individual Permit is required prior to initiating substantial repairs and alterations to dams. This permit process is used to authorize large scale projects. For smaller scale projects, a general permit may provide authorization through a faster process. Be sure to read the Permit Application Guidance below when preparing an individual permit application.  Download all the application forms, instructions, and supporting attachment information for an individual dam safety permit application by selecting the link below:
Dam Safety Individual Permit Materials 

  {cover page of dam safety permit guidance}

Permit Application Guidance: This document provides guidance for the Dam Safety individual permit application process.

General Permits: Three new Dam Safety General Permits were signed on October 16, 2015 and are currently available. These permits provide quick process authorization for many dam-related minor activities which have only minimal environmental impacts.
The General Permit Authorization Table provides a quick view of the three general permits.
You can download the permits, filing forms, the notice form, and fact sheets by selecting the link below:

Fishway Determination. A determination of the need for a fishway is necessary whenever there will be work done that requires a DEEP Dam Safety individual or general permit. The form to use for this determination is available at the link below:

Request for Determination of Need for Fishway - Word Form, PDF

It is recommended that you submit the completed form to the DEEP Inland Fisheries Division and receive a response to include in the application prior to submitting a Dam Safety permit application or general permit filing. Instructions are included on the form.

Public Safety - Be Aware of Boating or Swimming Near Low Head Dams!  A "low head" or "run-of-the-river" dam is a dam across a watercourse that is small and often submerged under the flowing water. They are typically low in height being 12 feet tall or less but they are deceptively dangerous. They can trap and drown swimmers, paddlers, or other water users who pass over the dam into the turbulent waters below the dam. The circulating action of the water passing over the dam can suck persons and their boats into the base of the dam and prevent their escape. As an example, the Wallace Dam on the Quinnipiac River in Wallingford is a low head dam that at times can be very dangerous. The photos following show the Wallace Dam during lower flow periods:

{Wallace Dam from upstream} {Wallace Dam from fish ladder}

Stay clear of these types of dams. You have no way of knowing how deep a scour hole below this dam may be and may not realize how the weight of the flowing water will trap you should you go over. Turn back and warn others you may see in the area to do the same. For more information on the dangers these dams present, please select the following link to the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) website: ASDSO Public Safety Around Dams

Dam Removal:

2011 American Rivers Dam Removal Guidance  (PDF)

Links to websites with dam removal information: (leave DEEP website)

Association of State Dam Safety Officials Dam Removal Information
Municipal Emergency Notification Contact Form (Word Form; PDF )

DamWatch Monitoring Software Application for DEEP-owned DAMS

  {guide for emergency preparedness and levees}

Emergency Preparedness Guidelines for Levees - Document provides guidance about high water events and how to develop an emergency preparedness plan.

Weather and Hydrology:
NOAA National Weather Service – Comprehensive weather information
Intellicast - Commercial weather site
Accuweather – Commercial weather site
NOAA Atlas 14 for the northeast is now available.
River Information
NOAA River Gauge –  Real time river data with hydrographs
USGS Water Watch – Maps of high flow & flooding locations, and real-time stream flow
For further information contact the Dam Safety section at (860) 424-3706 or by email at
Content last updated on November 10, 2015