If you have a dam on your property, when was the last time you checked it was safe?
Dams can pose a safety threat to communities lower in the catchment if they fail and large volumes of water are released.
To help ensure this doesn’t happen, you should regularly inspect your dam and take action if you find there may be a problem. It can be helpful to do this in summer when water levels are low and also right after big rain events as both of these can damage your dam.
Remember – if your dam fails you are accountable for any damage caused.
Here are some useful guides for preventing dam failures:
- Private dam maintenance and management in emergencies fact sheet (pdf): provides a short overview of the issues, what to do and what not to do.
- Private dam maintenance and management in emergencies (pdf): a comprehensive guideline to dam maintenance and management during emergencies.
- A rapid risk assessment template (pdf): to assist owners to assess the risk of dam failure
- An emergency action plan flowchart (pdf): to assist dam owners determine the appropriate action to take in an emergency.
Making changes to your dam
If you need to repair or change your dam, you might need a permit:
- Get a water permit, including for dam water affecting activities.
- Apply to clear native vegetation to repair/maintain an existing dam, or to create a new dam or expand an existing one on pastoral land.