Begin Main Content Area

Waterways Engineering and Wetlands

The Bureau of Waterways Engineering and Wetlands (BWEW) contains four main programs: Dam Safety, Water Obstructions and Encroachments, Erosion and Sedimentation Control/Stormwater Management and Flood Protection. The mission of these programs is to provide for the comprehensive regulation and supervision of dams, reservoirs, and water obstructions and encroachments in order to protect the health, safety, welfare and property of the people, and to protect and maintain the natural resources of Pennsylvania.

BWEW operates one of the few state-level comprehensive flood protection programs in the United States. The program evaluates flood prone areas, designs stream improvement and flood protection facilities, and manages the construction of these projects. It also coordinates the planning, design and construction of federal flood control and bank stabilization projects. The program provides protection to communities during high water events by ensuring that Pennsylvania's existing flood protection projects are in a state of readiness and will function as designed.

The Dam Safety Program oversees the regulation of approximately 3,400 dams and reservoirs throughout Pennsylvania in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of people and property downstream of dams. The goal is to assure proper planning, design, construction, maintenance, operation, monitoring and supervision of dams and reservoirs.

The Division of Waterways, Wetlands and Training administers the Waterway and Wetland Protection, the Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control, the NPDES Stormwater Discharge from Construction Activities, and, the Submerged Lands License Agreement Programs through the development of regulations, procedures, manuals and guidance for program implementation in the DEP regional offices and the county conservation districts. This division is also responsible for the coordination of Sand and Gravel Royalty Agreements between commercial dredging operations and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Project Inspection Divisions

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

PA Department of Environmental Protection
Bureau of Waterways Engineering and Wetlands
PO Box 8460
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8460

Office Phone:


Fax Number:


Onsite Address:

400 Market Street
2nd Floor Rachel Carson State Office Building
Harrisburg, PA 17101