Dam Owner Resources

To promote teamwork between state regulators and dam owners, the Dam Safety Program would like to ensure that high-quality educational resources are available to everyone interested in dams and dam safety. The program hosts occasional workshops and technical training sessions for dam owners and engineers and has partnered with other dam safety organizations to provide resources to assist those who own or live near a dam. 

Dam Owner Newsletters and Information Bulletins

Please find below an archive of the Dam Safety Program's annual newsletters and periodic technical bulletins for dam owners. These documents cover a range of topics from suggested maintenance items, changes in the dam safety program, contacts for regional dam safety engineers, and much more.

June 2023 Dams Newsletter June 2022 Dams Newsletter June 2021 Dams Newsletter June 2020 Dams Newsletter June 2019 Dams Newsletter May 2018 Dams Newsletter August 2017 Dams Newsletter


Dams Info Bulletin Issue 1 - Temporary Siphons Dams Info Bulletin Issue 2-When Do I Need a Permit?


Dam Owner Workshop

In November of 2018, the Dam Safety Program partnered with the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) to host and produce a Dam Owner’s Workshop specifically tailored towards South Carolina dams and dam owners. Sessions were recorded and have been uploaded for easy viewing on the DHEC YouTube channel.

The recorded sections this Workshop covered are below. Each link will take you to a recording of the described section.

  1. An Introduction to Dams:
    1. The Functions of Dams
    2. Dam Types
    3. Dam Parts and Terminology
    4. Types of Spillways
  2. Dam Safety Laws and Regulations in South Carolina
  3. How Dam Failure Occurs
  4. Operation and Maintenance of Dams
  5. An Introduction to Emergency Action Plans
  6. Liability, Public Safety, and Security for Dams
  7. Dam Repair Projects: Engineers and Repair Options

Clemson Extension Dam Owners Course

The Dam Safety Program partnered with the Clemson Extension, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Clemson Online to develop 'Dam Ownership in SC', a free, six-week self paced online class to assist dam owners in learning the basics of dams and how to inspect, maintain, and repair them. It is designed to be useful to the owners of dams regulated by the state Dam Safety Program as well as currently unregulated dams. 

'Dams & Inundations' App

The Dam Safety Program and DHEC Geographic Information System (GIS) staff jointly developed a Dams & Inundations App displaying all regulated dams and potentially inundated areas in the event of dam failure. This application is available to the public and is used by the Dam Safety Program and emergency management officials during dam emergencies to quickly locate and assess potential impacts downstream.

This tool displays

  • All currently state regulated dams in South Carolina and their name, location, and hazard classification.
  • The potentially at-risk area that may be impacted if the dam were to fail.
  • The estimated depth of flooding at any point within that at-risk area.

Inundation areas displayed in the application come from failure simulations created with the DSS-WISE Lite model. For more information on inundation modeling and DSS-WISE Lite, please check the “Methods Used to Generate Inundation Areas” reference document

Guidance for Homeowners/Property Owners Associations That Are Dam Owners

The Dam Safety Program partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop a targeted educational and training course for South Carolina Homeowner/Property Owners Associations that own dams. This course was created because of the unique difficulties these organizations have faced in repairing and rebuilding their dams after frequent recent major storm events. This online course was presented in four parts from April to July 2020 and is available for viewing on the DHEC Youtube channel as part of the 'Homeowners Associations Technical Information Series' Playlist

Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO)

The Association of State Dam Safety Officials partners with state dam safety programs with the mission of “improving the condition and safety of dams through education, support of state programs, and fostering a unified dam safety community.” ASDSO provides a resource library that to the public free of charge that can be accessed at the ASDSO Resource Center for Dam Owners. Information is generally applicable for all dam owners, however there may be some differences with Dam Safety Program recommendations due to specific South Carolina laws and regulations.

ASDSO Dam Owner Academy Training Videos

Recommended Resources

Other Resources


Dams & Reservoirs