During normal operations, the outlet structure provides water to downstream users and releases are generally less than 500 cubic feet of water per second. One cubic foot of water, or cfs, is equal to 7.5 gallons. As operations shift to reducing flood risks during periods of high runoff, the outlet structure is used to manage the reservoir elevations and can release up to 8,400 cfs. The spillway was designed to additionally pass up to 184,000 cfs. For perspective, the largest release of water from Chatfield Dam as a result of flooding was approximately 3,350 cfs from the outlet structure in 1995. It is important to understand that the dam is designed to release up to 192,400 cfs when necessary and that this dam-or any other dam-does not eliminate flood risk.