Which dams (or similar structures) does Dams Safety NSW declare?
Dams Safety NSW “declares” those dams that could potentially threaten downstream life, or cause major property, environmental, or public welfare damage. Once a dam is declared, the dam owner must comply with the requirements of the Dams Safety Act 2015 and the Dams Safety Regulation 2019.
What type of structure does Dams Safety NSW consider to be a dam?
The publication ‘Defining dams for declaration purposes’ lists the types of structure that Dams Safety NSW considers to be a dam for the purposes of the Dams Safety Act 2015.
In summary, those structures are:
- Off-river storages
- Retarding basins
- Tailings dams.
Should I refer my dam to Dams Safety NSW?
The first thing you should consider is whether any person would be at risk (PAR) if the dam failed. If it is likely that failure of the structure would put people at risk, then you need to refer it to Dams Safety NSW for consideration, even if it is only a small dam or a retarding basin.
The second thing to consider is whether your dam would cause a major or catastrophic level of severity of damage or loss if it failed. Tables 3A, 3B and 3C of the methodology: ‘Declared dams consequence category assessment and determination methodology for Dams Safety Act 2015’ describe what constitutes a ‘major or catastrophic damage or loss’.
Dams more than 15 metres high must also be referred to Dams Safety NSW as all such dams are considered for declaration.
If you think the above factors may apply to your dam, email Dams Safety NSW at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will contact you to discuss the next steps. Dams Safety NSW will assess whether the dam meets the criteria for declaration or may require you to carry out a preliminary assessment of the dam, to determine whether it may be declared.
When are persons considered to be at risk under the Dams Safety Act 2015?
Persons at Risk (PAR) - persons are generally considered to be at risk if they will be exposed to an incremental depth of water greater than 30cm deep as a result of dam failure.
For more information call (02) 9842 8073 or email us at email@example.com.