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Hazard Classifications

There are three hazard classifications for dams in general.

  • Low Hazard (loss of life is unlikely and damage is limited);
  • Significant Hazard (small possibility of loss of life, damage causes property loss and/or interrupts use of public utilities or roads); and
  • High Hazard (loss of life is probable, serious damage to structures, important roads, public utilities or railroads).

Determining a Hazard due to Dam Breach The factors that must be considered in order to determine the hazard classification of a dam include, but are not limited to:

  • The population-at-risk;
  • Depth and velocity of flow against habitable buildings;
  • Depth and velocity of flow over roads;
  • Depth and velocity of flow in the presence of unprotected persons;
  • Isolation of a population from emergency services;
  • Damage to critical infrastructure;
  • Economic loss; and
  • Environmental damage.