Author Topic: SURPRISE! SURPRISE! USA Dams & Levees get a D Rating, Lessons Learned  (Read 133 times)

Michael Caswell

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« Last Edit: August 10, 2021, 04:43:40 pm by Doug K »

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Michael Caswell

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This article explains why woody vegetation is very undesirable on a dam.

https://damfailures.org/lessons-learned/uncontrolled-vegetation-on-and-around-dams-can-hinder-inspection-and-lead-to-serious-structural-damage-significant-maintenance-costs-and-possible-failure/

One very valid point made here is that even though this vegetation may not be the MAJOR cause of failure, it certainly contributes to it for a number of reasons.

Relative to the number of trees known to exist on dams and a review of past dam failure case studies, it is generally uncommon for woody vegetation alone to cause dam failure; however, numerous dam failure case histories identify woody vegetation as a contributing factor in the dam failure process.  For this reason, it is important to eliminate woody vegetation on and around dams and levees to minimize the potential for internal erosion and structural damage while maintaining beneficial grassy vegetation to reduce the potential for surface erosion.




The article states - While it is reasonable to anticipate some benefit will be realized by allowing woody vegetation to remain, it only takes one weak link to initiate failure , BUT, it is important to note that in this instance, they are discussing LEVEES.

This is something that those in opposition to the vegetation removal simply do not understand. They are stuck and continue to say, no trees have ever caused a problem.

The permanent reservoir loading at active storage dams creates a much higher likelihood that adverse consequences might occur. (Hydrostatic Pressure)

In conclusion, state and federal dam safety officials and industry experts generally agree that trees and woody vegetation should be eliminated from all water impounding structures.

It doesn't get any clearer than that folks!


« Last Edit: July 29, 2021, 07:00:33 am by Michael Caswell »

Michael Caswell

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https://www.sierraclub.org/missouri/blog/2013/06/causes-taum-sauk-reservoir-breach

An interesting read, and a few similarities  with our dams. Steepness of outboard slope, sand filled, long history of leakage. etc.

In the following report from the ASDSO, they state,

Contributors to Failure

Traditionally, it has commonly been assumed that safety is the default for dams and other systems, and that failures are therefore due to atypical physical factors (eg, ‘Acts of God’) and/or egregious ‘human errors’. However, research over the past few decades suggests that this paradigm should be reversed, with the new default view being that a natural tendency is for systems to move towards disorder and failure (in line with the concept of increasing entropy), and with continual human effort thus being needed to maintain order and prevent failure.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2021, 09:32:38 am by Doug K »

Michael Caswell

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When you ignore the professionals DAMS COLLAPSE!
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2021, 06:11:45 am »
Learn how a lack of engineering education, and ignorance, can spell disaster.

Also note how our 'officials' ignore all the warnings from our current experts like FEMA, NYPA, ASDSO and USACE. It's a recipe for disaster, all spelled out in this article.

https://damfailures.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Alvi_HumanFactors.pdf

And don't forget who built the Great Embankment Dam. Non-professionals.

https://ecna.createaforum.com/general-discussion/erie-canal-built-by-non-professionals!/

« Last Edit: July 30, 2021, 06:16:41 am by Michael Caswell »

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Lesson learned, right on the Erie Canal. Almost 2 months since this "land" washed out. From where this breach was located, it's part of the original Erie Canal near the Lock 30/29 pool.

Almost 2 months to repair the Embankment, with a new coffee dam. Look how much earth it took to replace what washed away:  about 2,500 cubic yards of granular fill and 190 ft. of steel sheet piling

https://mobile.twitter.com/NYSCanalCorp/status/1420475869836029955?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Eembeddedtimeline%7Ctwterm%5Eprofile%3ANYSCanalCorp%7Ctwgr%5EeyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3NwYWNlX2NhcmQiOnsiYnVja2V0Ijoib2ZmIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.canals.ny.gov%2Findex.shtml

« Last Edit: July 30, 2021, 06:09:45 pm by Doug K »

Doug K

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Didn't this Oxbow tree blowdown the same way?

Inward, toward the impounded water, leaving a weakened depression near the top the embankment, that can start to weep.

https://ecna.createaforum.com/perinton-canal-embankment-discussion/tree-blowdown-at-the-oxbow/



Michael Caswell

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UNSAFE DAMS!
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2021, 10:07:04 am »

Doug K

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Re: UNSAFE DAMS!
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2021, 01:50:09 pm »
The main point of this Nat Geo article was about Dam Safety in America, and it was written right after the Midland Michigan area had two dams collapse as a result of heavy rains.

What was very interesting is the published update, and the link provided to the independent investigation called for by the governor of Michigan.


Here's the  National Geographic Story highlights:







And here are a couple charts from the article that show the issues with Unsafe & Hazardous Dams in America






And maybe the most profound statement from the entire article was at the end.






Also followed that linked story about Michigan's Governor calling for an investigation, it's a good read and also shows why fixing unsound dams ion our state, and our country, is crucial.






Anyone thinking that the current NY State Governor will listen to anyone, any group or individual, who isn't concerned about Erie Canal Embankment Safety, and is saying things like "Erie Canal Embankments are Fine", hasn't understood the term "state liability" very well. Insuring Public Safety, isn't a choice at the Governor's level, it's table stakes, no question about it.

There is NO OTHER OPTION than to fix the Canal Embankments, because the Governor of this state will not put himself in this same situation as Michigan's Governor.

That is evident from his recent decision to give the aging, failing NYS Canal System to another State Agency that can repair it, properly inspect and maintain it.

And that state agency, NYPA, won't allow what happened in Midland, Michigan to happen in Fairport, Brockport or anywhere else there are raised earthen embankments holding back canal water.

So , it's REALLY about NOT having the State of New York sued by it's residents, for catastrophic flood damage and lost lives... Safety First.

Because "NY Lives Matter"