Dam Safety Program: Wisconsin

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


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.


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.


A risk assessment was conducted at Eau Galle in 2020 that concluded the dam is well constructed and performing well. A liner in the conduit at Eau Galle was painted in 2019. The locks and dams are in the process of a series of programmatic upgrades that include new miter gates with related anchorages in the operating locks, sheetpile crossings in the auxillary locks, grouting of below water rock cribs in the guidewalls, and end cells at some of the guidewalls. Dewatering maintenance was completed at Lock and Dam 6 in 2022. Budget requests for fiscal year 2025 include painting of the spillway gates.

Dams in St. Paul District Portfolio

Federally authorized, operated and maintained:

Eau Galle Dam

Mississippi River –Locks and Dams 4 (Alma), 5A (Winona), 6 (Trempealeau), 8 (Genoa), and 9 (Prairie du Chien). Also, Fountain City Service Base.

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