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Dams in Kentucky

 landscape  creek bank


Pigeon Roost Flood Retarding Structure (FRS) #2, Jackson County, KY and Fox Creek, FRS #1, Fleming County, KY

Although NRCS may assist sponsors with designing a dam and/or provide cost-share funding for the construction of dams, it is the Kentucky Division of Water, Water Resources Branch, Dam Safety Section, which is responsible for inspecting existing dams in Kentucky.  According to Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) 151, a dam is defined as any structure which is:  “25 feet in height, measured from the downstream toe to the crest of the dam or, has a maximum impounding capacity of 25 acre-feet or more at the top of the structure.”

KRS 151.293, Section 6 authorizes the inspection of existing structures that meet the definition of a “dam.”  The Dam Safety Section of the Water Resources Branch maintains a list of these structures in a database.

Dams in Kentucky are classified by the Division of Water into three categories: High Hazard, Moderate Hazard, and Low Hazard. For more information on state inspection, dam classification, and the KY Division of Water inspection schedules visit:

Attention Dam Owners

Dams can change from low or moderate hazard to high hazard due to residential development below the dam. Sponsors are urged to take action to prevent construction of homes immediately downstream of a low-hazard dam.  For more information visit Planning for the Present