File No. 34961

This rule was published in the July 15, 2011, issue (Vol. 2011, No. 14) of the Utah State Bulletin.

Natural Resources, Water Rights

Rule R655-10

Dam Safety Classifications, Approval Procedures and Independent Reviews

Notice of Proposed Rule


DAR File No.: 34961
Filed: 06/22/2011 03:19:36 PM


Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

The current rule requires clarification and update to current industry practice.

Summary of the rule or change:

In Subsection R655-10-6B(B)(1), makes a clarification and updates to current industry practice. In Subsection R655-10-6B(3)(9), makes a clarification. In Subsection R655-10-7A(1), makes a clarification and updates to current industry practice. In Section R655-10-7B, makes clarification.

State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Title 73, Chapter 5a

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

No cost involved, clarification of processing does not require a dollar figure.

local governments:

No cost involved, clarification of processing does not require a dollar figure.

small businesses:

No cost involved, clarification of processing does not require a dollar figure.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

No cost involved, clarification of processing does not require a dollar figure.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

No cost involved, clarification of processing does not require a dollar figure.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

No physical impact, clarification of process procedures does not require a dollar figure.

Michael Styler, Executive Director

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:

Natural Resources
Water Rights
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84116-3154

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Marianne Burbidge at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7370, by FAX at 801-538-7467, or by Internet E-mail at

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:


This rule may become effective on:


Authorized by:

Michael Styler, Executive Director


R655. Natural Resources, Water Rights.

R655-10. Dam Safety Classifications, Approval Procedures and Independent Reviews.

R655-10-6B. Submission of Plans.

A. All projects requiring submission of plans should include a package including the drawings, specifications, design reports, and any other information which will assist in reviewing the project. The amount of information generated becomes more involved as the size and hazard rating of the structure increases. The following guidelines are included to alert the designer to the basic information required.

B. All drawings submitted should comply with the following:

1. The size of all drawings submitted for review, shall not be larger than 24 inches by 36 inches or smaller than 11 inches by 17 inches. All details on the drawings shall be clear and legible. Drawing sets with 10 sheets or less may be submitted electronically. Following approval of the project by the State Engineer, two sets of 11 inch by 17 inch drawings , reflecting all final approval conditions, shall be submitted , prior to the initiation of construction.

2. All drawings should include a bar scale to allow for accurate scaling of reductions.

3. All drawings shall have a title block in the lower right corner showing the project name, the owner's name, the sheet number, and the date of preparation of the plans.

4. All drawings shall have provisions for noting the dates of any modifications.

5. Each drawing shall include the signature and seal of the responsible engineer. Geological drawings should also be signed by the responsible geologist.

C. Drawings to be included in plans are:

1. Title sheet, including:

a. General location map including access roads.

b. Signature block for owner's acceptance.

c. Index of drawings.

d. Reference to the water rights for the reservoir.

e. Reservoir stage/storage curve.

f. Rating curves for outlets and spillways.

2. Plan view of reservoir, including:

a. Existing topography.

b. Borrow areas.

c. Supply canals and pipelines.

d. Suitable contour lines.

e. Clearing limits.

f. Waste areas.

3. Plan view of dam, including:

a. Location of all pertinent features.

b. A survey tie, to an outside section corner, where the longitudinal axis of the dam intersects the axis of the original stream channel or the low level outlet.

c. Clearing limits.

4. Longitudinal profile, showing:

a. Original ground line.

b. Location of core trench or other cutoff features.

c. Location of outlets and spillways.

d. Camber and anticipated settlement.

5. Typical cross-sections of dam, showing:

a. Embankment geometrics including internal zones.

b. Slope protection.

c. Cutoff.

d. Delineation of embankment on natural ground surface.

e. Freeboard.

f. Internal drainage.

g. Limits of foundation excavation.

6. Plan, profile, cross sections and details of all outlets, spillways, and other structures.

7. Structural details for reinforcing steel, metal fabrication, or waterstops.

8. Site geology map of the damsite and reservoir basin including locations of all borings and test pits.

9. Longitudinal geologic profile of both the dam and reservoir, showing:

a. Original ground line.

b. Location and orientation of borings.

c. Geological profile showing pertinent lithologic, hydrologic, and structural information.

10. Logs of borings with classifications of soil and rock, results of water pressure tests and other downhole material property tests, soil classification, standard penetration tests, core recovery, rock quality designations, and strength tests.

11. Any additional drawings such as instrumentation details necessary to construct the project.

D. Specification Requirements.

The State Engineer must review and approve all technical specifications for a proposed project. A partial list of specifications directly related to dam safety follows:

1. Site Preparation.

a. Clearing and Grubbing.

b. Soil Stripping.

c. Structure Removal.

d. Diversion and Care of Stream.

2. Foundation Preparation.

a. Foundation Dewatering.

b. Relief Wells.

c. Grouting.

d. Cutoffs.

e. Abutment Contacts.

f. Exploration.

g. Dental Concrete.

3. Earthwork.

a. Excavation.

b. Earth Fill.

c. Drain Fill.

d. Rock Fill.

e. Material Handling.

f. Testing Procedures.

4. Concrete and Reinforcement.

a. Concrete Mixing and Placement.

b. Steel Reinforcement.

c. Admixtures.

d. Curing and Curing Compounds.

e. Joint Fillers and Waterstops.

5. Outlets.

a. Water Control Gates and Valves.

b. Air Vent.

c. Operating Equipment.

d. Bedding Requirements.

6. Aggregates and Rock.

a. Drain Fill and Filters.

b. Concrete Aggregates.

c. Riprap.

7. Erosion Control.

8. Miscellaneous Structural Work.

a. Metal Fabrication and Installation.

b. Instrumentation.

9. All technical specifications should also include testing intervals to assure compliance with the specifications.

E. Design Report Requirements. The design report should include all information used to design the dam, including assumptions made and methodology used with sufficient documentation. Any building codes or design manuals used in the design should be referenced, including the year of publication of the source. If the design report is a product of a team effort, the names of all persons producing the report should be included along with the sections they prepared. Examples of items to be included in the design report are as follows:

1. Hydrology calculations for determining the spillway requirements.

2. Hydraulic characteristics of the outlets and spillways.

3. Subsurface investigation including logs of test borings and geologic cross-sections.

4. Material testing results and the location and logs of test pits.

5. Foundation treatment and abutment contact design.

6. Calculations for the reinforced concrete design and the loading conditions utilized.

7. Stability analysis of the dam, abutments, and reservoir rim, including appropriate seismic loading, safety factors and embankment zone characteristics.

8. Geological investigations including:

a. Regional perspective of the site's geologic and seismic setting at a scale appropriate to the geologic complexity of the area.

b. Seismic evaluation establishing the relationship of the site to all seismic features of concern and the potential for reservoir induced seismicity.

c. Site geology of areas affected by construction activities and appropriate adjacent areas.

d. Plans to compensate for any geological weakness in the dam foundation, abutment areas, and reservoir rim.

9. Subsurface s[S]eepage considerations including the cutoff trench design and internal drainage design and filtering.

10. Post-construction monitoring or alarm systems.


R655-10-7A. Review of Design.

The following situations will require an independent consultant review of the design of a new dam or significant enlargement of an existing dam.

1. [All high hazard dams, which have a structural height over 50 feet and an active storage over 1,000 acre-feet, will require an independent review unless exempted in writing by the State Engineer]Any dam that in the opinion of the State Engineer warrants additional review due to the large size or complexity of the dam and/or reservoir.

2. Any high or moderate hazard dam which, in the opinion of the State Engineer, has a unique problem requiring additional review.

3. Any high or moderate hazard dam whose design is not typical of dams normally built in the state and is thus beyond the technical abilities of the State Engineer's dam safety staff.

4. If the owner's engineer and the State Engineer cannot reach an agreement on the design of a dam.

5. If the owner specifically requests an independent consultant review.


R655-10-7B. Review of Construction.

The State Engineer may require an independent consultant review when [peculiar]unusual problems are noted during construction[ of a dam], [or] the dam is not being constructed as per approved plans and specifications , or to supplement the technical expertise of the project engineer.


KEY: dam safety, dams, reservoirs

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [December 10, 2003]2011

Notice of Continuation: April 14, 2011

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 73-5a


Additional Information

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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Marianne Burbidge at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7370, by FAX at 801-538-7467, or by Internet E-mail at