Dam owners need to watch for signs of damage due to heavy rain

TOPEKA -- Because of recent heavy rainfall, the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s (KDA) water structures program is urging dam owners to inspect their dams for signs of damage. Some of the more common problems that develop after heavy rainfall are debris accumulating around overflow pipes and erosion of banks and spillways. Less common problems, such as holes on embankments, also can develop.

“Heavy rain may have put some dams under extra stress or even caused structural damage,” says Matt Scherer, manager of KDA's water structures program. “Dam owners need to be on the lookout for signs of damage and report their concerns to either our department or to a qualified engineer.”
In rare instances, dams can fail and put life and property downstream at risk. Dam failures need to be reported immediately to the KDA Dam Safety Program at 800-915-6163. Reports also may be made online here .

Individuals with more routine questions about dams and dam safety, or who want to report non-emergency concerns, should phone 785-296-2933.