The secretary shall give notice to file an application for a certificate of approval to every owner of a dam which was completed prior to the effective date of this section: Provided, That no such notice need be given to a person who has applied for and obtained a certificate of approval on or after July 1, 1973, in accordance with the provisions of the prior enactment of section five of this article. The notice shall be given by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, to the owner at his or her last address of record in the office of the county assessor of the county in which the dam is located; mailing constitutes service. A separate application for each dam a person owns shall be filed with the director in writing upon forms supplied by him or her and shall include or be accompanied by appropriate information concerning the dam as the secretary requires.
The secretary shall make inspections of such dams or reservoirs at state expense. The secretary shall require owners of dams to perform at their expense work or tests as may reasonably be required to disclose information sufficient to enable the secretary to determine whether to issue a certificate of approval or to issue an order directing further work at the owner's expense necessary to safeguard life and property. For this purpose, the secretary may require an owner to lower the water level of, or to empty, water impounded by the dam adjudged by the secretary to be unsafe. If, upon inspection or upon completion to the satisfaction of the secretary of all work that he or she ordered, the secretary finds that the dam is safe to impound water, a certificate of approval shall be issued.