Boone Waterworks Dam


River/Stream: Des Moines River

Location: northwest of Boone, Boone County
        Latitude: 42.0771298311448
        Longitude: -93.9362058817401
        Click here to view an aerial map of the dam.

Built: 1933. Rehabilitation to rock arch rapids completed in 2014.

Click here to enlarge image

View of dam after conversion to rock arch rapids.

Owner: City of Boone

Height: 3 ft.

Length: 212 ft.

Hazards: drowning, varying, visibility -- significantly reduced by rehabilitation project

Warning Signs: Originally installed July, 2006, and are no longer needed. Click here for more details about the signage donated by IWC.

Comments: No need to portage -- paddle through the rock arch rapids. An excellent portage trail was constructed by concerned citizens in 2006 that was later destroyed by the floods of 2008 & 2010. Click here for more information about construction of that portage trail.


Fatalities 4

  • July 10, 2006 - inner tube floater Megan Pavelick
  • July 30, 1972 - canoeist Glenn Houlberg & boater William McAlpine who attempted rescue
  • April 24, 1971 - canoeist Tom Huerter, a would-be rescuer who became a victim

Incident Reports:

On July 9th, 2006, Megan Pavelick drowned at the Boone Waterworks dam shortly after starting a tubing trip down the Des Moines River with friends. It almost became a bigger tragedy when a nearby fisherman nearly drowned while assisting in the rescue effort. The drop over the dam that day was reported to be a mere 14 inches, but the hydraulic was enough to entrap and claim Megan as the latest victim of that dam.

Litigation Information:


Pre-conversion archive photos