New interactive dam map shows condition, inspection dates, and flood risks

Local News

COURTESY: ESRI

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Following the collapse of the Edenville and Sanford dams near Midland, we asked the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) about the safety of the dams in the Upper Peninsula.

EGLE has responded with the following statement about the Midland area dam failure:

EGLE assumed regulatory authority for the 96-year-old Edenville Dam in late 2018 after its license to generate hydropower was revoked by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. EGLE was in the process of reviewing federal records and conducted an initial inspection in October of 2018, finding that it was in fair structural condition. However, EGLE had strong concerns that the dam did not have enough spillway capacity – which allows water to flow out of the Wixom Lake impoundment –to meet state requirements. EGLE expressed those concerns to the owners’ consultants and was continuing conversations about that deficiency. EGLE had taken enforcement action against the dam’s owner for drawing down water levels without permission and for damage to natural resources as a result of those drawdowns. EGLE was pursuing additional enforcement action at the time of the breach.

Michigan has 2,523 dams. Of those, 1,153 are regulated by either state (1,061 state) or federal (92) agencies. Some 1,370 smaller dams are not regulated. Of regulated dams, 803 are privately owned and 350 are publicly owned.

Lack of investment in dam infrastructure is not uncommon in Michigan dams, which have suffered from deferred maintenance over the course of decades. That, combined with the historic rainfall and flooding, were factors in the Edenville Dam failure.
Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

A new GIS mapping tool listing every dam regulated by the State of Michigan, and information about their conditions, is available from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). 

The tool provides the location of each of the 1059 state-regulated dams structures, ownership information, the body of water it regulates, date of its last reported inspection, hazard potential, and an assessment of its condition. It does not list the 99 Michigan dams regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, nor smaller, unregulated dam structures. 

We looked through the map. Here are some of the results we found in the Upper Peninsula with either increased hazard potential or low condition assesments.

Dam: Drummond Hunting & Fishing Club Dam

DamID1175
Pond Name
Downstream Hazard PotentialLow
Owner NameMaxton Land Company
Regulatory AuthorityPart 315
Last Inspection Date06-May-03
RiverStony Creek
Condition AssessmentPoor

Dam: Jocko Creek Dam

DamID1493
Pond NameJocko Pond
Downstream Hazard PotentialLow
Owner NameHiawatha Sportsmen’s Club
Regulatory AuthorityPart 315
Last Inspection Date24-May-13
RiverJocko Creek
Condition AssessmentPoor

Dam: Gulliver Lake Dam

DamID2018
Pond NameGulliver Lake
Downstream Hazard PotentialLow
Owner NameGulliver Lake Association
Regulatory AuthorityPart 307
Last Inspection Date12-Oct-18
RiverGulliver Lake Outlet
Condition AssessmentPoor

Dam: Carpenter Dam (Indian Lake Dam)

DamID271
Pond NameIndian Lake
Downstream Hazard PotentialSignificant
Owner NameSchoolcraft County Dr. Commissioner
Regulatory AuthorityPart 307/Part 315
Last Inspection Date12-Oct-18
RiverIndian River
Condition AssessmentSatisfactory

Dam: Carp Intake Dam

DamID158
Pond NameCarp Intake Basin
Downstream Hazard PotentialHigh
Owner NameC. R. Development, LLC
Regulatory AuthorityPart 315
Last Inspection Date01-Nov-18
RiverCarp River
Condition AssessmentSatisfactory

Dam: Gribben Tailings Basin Dam

DamID113
Pond NameGribben Tailings Basin
Downstream Hazard PotentialSignificant
Owner NameTilden Mining Company LC
Regulatory AuthorityPart 315
Last Inspection Date09-Dec-16
RiverTrib to Goose Lake Outlet
Condition AssessmentSatisfactory

Dam: Ogden Lake Dam

DamID841
Pond NameLake Sally and Ogden Lake
Downstream Hazard PotentialHigh
Owner NameTilden Mining Company LC
Regulatory AuthorityPart 315
Last Inspection Date01-Aug-18
RiverEly Creek
Condition AssessmentSatisfactory

Dam: Bulldog Lake Dam

DamID870
Pond NameBulldog White Deer Lakes
Downstream Hazard PotentialLow
Owner NameOttawa National Forest
Regulatory AuthorityPart 315
Last Inspection Date08-Sep-05
RiverYellow Dog River
Condition AssessmentPoor

Dam: Redridge Dam

DamID91
Pond Name
Downstream Hazard PotentialSignificant
Owner NameStanton Township
Regulatory AuthorityPart 315
Last Inspection Date19-May-14
RiverSalmon Trout River
Condition AssessmentFair

Dam: Calumet Dam

DamID752
Pond NameCalumet Lake
Downstream Hazard PotentialLow
Owner NameCalumet Charter Township
Regulatory AuthorityPart 315
Last Inspection Date01-Oct-12
RiverSlaughterhouse Creek
Condition AssessmentUnsatisfactory

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