Safety concerns about low-head dams along Big Sioux River - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Safety concerns about low-head dams along Big Sioux River

Safety issues persist in many of the low-head dams along the Big Sioux River because no one government entity claims ownership of them.

The Argus Leader reports that the dams, typically less than 15 feet in height, often exist in a regulatory no-man's land. Neither federal, state nor local governments claim ownership of them.

And this means safety issues can go unchecked.

A 17-year-old boy, Andrew Hanneman, recently drowned in a low-head dam in Baltic.

Baltic Mayor Mike Wendland expressed regret for Hanneman's death and called the dam where the drowning occurred "a risk."

But he said the city would need to find out who owns it before they make any changes to it.

Some of the dams along the river date back to the 1800s.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

APNP-07-25-11 1103CDT

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