Dam Safety Program: North Dakota

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published April 9, 2024

Purpose

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Dam Safety Program can be traced to the National Dam Inspection Act of 1972 (Public Law 92-367). This has been updated numerous times, including the National Dam Safety Program Act of 2020 (PL 116-260) and is found in 33 USC 467. Most elements of the program still closely abide by the Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety (1979), with the most notable development in the last decade related to risk assessments to better prioritize actions and communicate the safety status of dams. The overlying purpose of dam safety is to ensure the integrity and viability of dams such that they do not present unacceptable risks to the public, property and the environment.

Description

The cornerstone of the Dam Safety Program revolves around inspections and risk assessments. Inspections include a routine program of surveillance and monitoring that includes soundings, surveys, special instrumentation, diving, and camera inspections. Most dams owned and operated by the Corps have been inspected on 5-year intervals. The inspections and risk assessments inform and help prioritize repair and rehabilitation needs.

Status

Risk assessments were conducted at Baldhill Dam in 2013 and at Homme Dam in 2015. Modelling of an active landslide at Baldhill was completed in 2022-2023. The modeling substantiates prior assumptions that a shear wall installed in 1995 is effective at slowing the movement in the vicinity of the dam. Attempts were made to seal seepage in the gated spillway monoliths at Baldhill in 2022 but have been delayed by occupational safety protocols. Budget needs include gate replacement at the Homme intake structure and completing the concrete repairs at Baldhill.

Dams in the St. Paul District Portfolio

Federally authorized, operated and maintained:

Baldhill Dam (Valley City)

Homme Dam (Park River)

Also see the National Inventory of Dams for more information at:

https://nid.sec.usace.army.mil/#/