By Mark Teicher, MLSA Board Director
I have compiled a list of resources and my thoughts on how to use them, these were also published with the article in The Michigan Riparian magazine for the Fall 2020 issue but this will give you the direct links and my personal commentary. There are some good and some less than satisfactory resources out there to help you understand dams.
- Association of State Dam Safety Officials – The website is user friendly and in their Resource Center you will find an excellent starter video called “Dams 101″. The Resource Center is also full of great information, they offer a Speakers Bureau, free pamphlets, and much more. Your association may even want to join if you’re a dam owner or beneficiary.
- Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy: EGLE – Dam Safety. The “Michigan Regulated Dams Web Map” link shows hundreds of dam locations in an interactive map. Click on one of the dots to show: the owner’s name, the date of the last inspection (some of which I found was in the 80s), the results from that inspection – satisfactory, fair, or poor. Although basic, it has such items as dam owners workshop videos which anyone can watch and links to the Michigan dam statutes.
- Federal Government Site (FEMA) – Claims it provides certain information but I was unable to find it, generally incomplete, and unsatisfactory.
- The Army Corps of Engineers – Unfortunately, less than satisfactory.
- The U.S. Society On Dams – This is a professional site but not particularly helpful.
This article compliments “Lessons from the Michigan Dam Failures for Lake Homeowners, and Concerned Citizens” from the Fall 2020 issue of The Michigan Riparian magazine.
The Michigan Riparian magazine reported on the mid-Michigan dam situation in an article called “The Future of Sanford Lake“, Spring 2011. Read the article here.