Safety at Dams

​In addition to the responsibility for dam maintenance, owners should also be aware of their responsibility for public safety. This includes the safety of people not authorized to use the facility. People are often unaware of the dangers that exist at dams, or the allure of the recreational opportunities provided by the structure may cloud their judgement and cause them to underestimate the risk of falling victim. Every year many people lose their lives at dams in the United States. In 2019, ASDSO collected reports of 61 incidents at dams, with 46 deaths and 19 injuries reported nationwide.
"No Trespassing" signs should be posted and fences and warning signs should be erected around dangerous areas at dams. Maintaining a safe distance away from dams, including the areas immediately upstream and downstream of the structure can help prevent injuries and loss of life.

Additional resources to explain the risks of public interaction with dams can be found at: 


Contact Information

For more information, you may call us at (410) 537-3538 or reach us at our mailing address:

Dam Safety Division
Water Management Administration
Maryland Department of the Environment

1800 Washington Boulevard, Ste. 440
Baltimore, Maryland 21230-1708​