What is an Overflow Dam?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The dam which is constructed to flow the excess water downstream over its crest is called an Overflow Dam. It is also known as Spillway or Rockfill Dam, or Overfall Dam. These dams are created to control overflowing rivers. Strong materials are used in its construction. Overflow dams are generally made of concrete, wood, and even stones. These dams are very critical to the release of water in a controlled way.

Overflow Dam

The overflow dam is a dam that allows surplus water over its crest to flow downstream. In overflow dams, the water flows over the top. It is designed to store water and allow surplus water to flow downstream into the riverbed. The overflow dam is a type of Hydraulic Dam.

These dams are built to be quite high, as big as 300 m, due to which the water released can also be very high. It is constructed of plain concrete or masonry.

  • It is composed of fuse plugs and floodgates to control the water flow.
  • Overflow dam releases the water in a controlled manner such that it does not damage parts of the structure.
  • These dams play an important role in preventing floods on rivers that tend to overflow.


What is an Overflow Dam?

The Overflow Dam is a dam in which the excess water flows downstream into the riverbeds in a controlled manner. These dams are generally built of strong material. Examples of Overflow dams are Weirs and Spillways. These dams are used to create structures like reservoirs and check the raising levels of water in rivers. It is also called a type of hydraulic dam and helps prevent floods on rivers that have a tendency to overflow.

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