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Dam Safety Program

The OWR Division of Water Resource Management (DWRM) issues permits to demonstrate compliance with it's administrative rules. The Division issues permits for work in and along the rivers, lakes and streams of the state, including Lake Michigan, for activities in and along the public waters, and for the construction and maintenance of dams.

January 15, 2014 a new Permit Application Fee went into effect. All applications and written inquiries received will be reviewed free of charge to determine whether or not the Public Water, dam and/or floodway work proposed requires authorization by the Department, so long as sufficient information is provided for the Department to make that determination.

Permit Fee Notice


Part 3702 - Construction and Maintenance of Dams

The Division issues permits for the construction, operation and maintenance of new dams and the modification, operation and maintenance of existing dams. Dams are classified by the Division based on hazard potential into one of three hazard classifications. All dams in the two higher classifications are required to have a permit under these rules. Dams in the lower hazard classification require a permit for construction or modification if they meet certain size criteria. 

Permits are also required for removing dams and transferring ownership of dams. Anyone proposing to construct a new dam is encouraged to submit a preliminary design report to the Division for a provisional hazard classification.

The "Procedural Guidelines for Preparation of Technical Data to be Included in Applications for Permits for Construction and Maintenance of Dams" publication, is available here.

The "Guidelines and Forms for Inspection of Illinois Dams" publication is available here . The inspection form is available in spreadsheet form.