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Dam removal

What does it mean to remove a dam?

There are different ways to remove a dam, all depending on the specific circumstances in nature and the wishes of the owner. To start with, the removal of a dam requires submitting to the Environmental Board a notice of the intent to remove the dam. The form can be found on the Environmental Board homepage. Dam removal is dealt with in the Water Act § 171.

The notice must include:
1) the name and personal identification code or registry code of the owner and user;
2) contact information, including telephone number and address;
3) the cadastral number of the property on which the dam is located;
4) the time for the removal of the dam or lowering of the water level;
5) if the water level is being lowered, data on the normal level of the dam;
6) the position of the local government.

While the notice is being processed, the Environmental Board has the right to request additional information from the applicant.

On the basis of the submitted notice, the Environmental Board will make a decision on whether or not to permit the removal of the dam within 20 working days. If the removal of the dam requires carrying out construction work on the dam, this is activity is regulated by the Building Act. If necessary, planning conditions and the building permit will be issued by the local government.

Legal persons can also apply for support to remove a dam from the Environmental Investment Center’s environmental programmes water management programme..

If the removal of a dam requires the preparation of a plan and an application for support, companies involved in environmental consultation and the designing of hydraulic constructions can provide assistance, if necessary.

   Photo: Elina Leiner

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