Flood Control Dams

History of the Douglas County Flood Control Dams

In 1935, Congress passed Public Law 46 (PL-46) to protect land from flood damages. The 22 dams built with funds from this bill in the Douglas County Conservation District are credited for saving much of the agricultural land during the devastating 1965 flood.

The Watershed Project was developed for three general purposes:

1) to prevent damage from erosion, floodwater, and sediment;

2) to further the conservation, development, utilization, and disposal of water; and

3) to further the conservation and proper utilization of land.

Local sponsorship by Douglas County Government and the Douglas County Conservation District was agreed upon by a resolution of the Board of Supervisors in late 1950’s. Authorization was provided that work would take place during the years 1959 through 1962.

As the original sponsors of the project, the Douglas County Government and the Douglas County Conservation District is responsible for the Operation and Maintenance of 22 dams located within the Franktown-Parker and Cherry Creek Watershed Project area.

The watershed dams are anywhere between 47 and 54 years old. The lifespan of these structures is 50 years. Due to the aging of the dams the maintenance that is required increases each year.

One of the top concerns for the district is to educate the public about these dams so everyone is aware of their existence and the service they provide to all the landowners within the watershed and down stream.

Dam Do's and Don'ts

To find out if a dam located on your property is indeed one of the 22 Watershed Flood Control Dams, please contact the Douglas County Conservation District to confirm. There are a few rules that a landowner needs to be aware of if they do have a Watershed Dam on their property or if there is one of these dams in your neighborhood.


  • Contact the district if you have one of these dams on your property.
  • Report any noticeable damage to any of these dams.


  • No alterations of any kind either taking from, or adding to the dam can be made without prior permission from the Douglas County Conservation District.
  • No motor vehicles allowed on any part of the dam.
  • No grazing of any livestock on the dam and spillway.
  • For proper operation, no trash and/or debris such as branches, plants, etc. shall obstruct water flow.