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DSOD Inspection Reports

The Oroville Spillways incident has taught dam operators in California and around the world that it is crucial to improve dam safety inspections.

Prior to this incident, the Association of State Dam Safety Officials recognized California for having the “leading dam safety program in the nation.” Check out the full independent, peer review of California’s Dam Safety Program.

All previous state, federal, and independent inspections of Oroville Dam and its spillways have concluded they are safe to operate.

The cause of the gated (main) flood control spillway failure is being investigated by the Independent Forensic Team, an independent team of internationally respected scientists and engineers. Their findings are expected in the fall, and will be made public.

DWR is continually assessing Oroville Dam. Oroville Dam is formally inspected multiple times a year. Twice a year, it’s inspected by the Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD). The last inspection by DSOD was conducted in August 2016. Oroville Dam is also inspected annually by the Federal Energy Relicensing Commission (FERC) Dam Safety Program. The last inspection by FERC was conducted in May 2016.

Oroville is also inspected by an independent board of expert consultants every five years. The most recent independent safety inspection was conducted in August 2014.

All of these inspections of Oroville Dam and its spillways have concluded they are safe to operate.

Division of Safety of Dam Inspection Reports