Author Topic: That dam is not going anywhere!  (Read 64 times)

Michael Caswell

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That dam is not going anywhere!
« on: January 25, 2022, 09:18:48 am »

That dam has been here for years – it’s not going anywhere.


Advancing age makes dams more susceptible to failure. The average age of dams in the US is more than 51 years old. As dams age, deterioration increases and construction costs rise.

Some common problems of older dams are:

• Deteriorating metal pipes and structural
components – after 50 years, metal rusts and fails.

• The elements of wind and water along with
the actions of rodents and vegetation work to
reconfigure embankment geometries, leading to
oversteepended slopes, erosion and seepage and
stability concerns.

• Lacking embankment protection and seepage
collection systems such as filters and drains, the
constant forces of seepage can change as dams age,
requiring retrofitting with more modern protective
systems of filters, drains and stability berms.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2022, 07:47:46 am by Doug K »

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Doug K

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Seems like a simple enough concept, maintaining Earthen Embankment Dams so they can last and not fall apart.

Most States in the USA have some sort of Dam Safety Program & Inspection Requirement... meant solely to keep the public safe.

If you follow the link in Mike's post it shows the Colorado version of their Dam Safety program... it emphasizes PREVENTIVE efforts like routine maintenance and inspections as the "early detection & warning" methods to prevent embankment breaches & subsequent devastation.

Here's one from Nebraska, it too emphasizes INSPECTION and proper maintenance as the best deterrents for failed embankments and floods

Here's another version of a Embankment Dam Safety Manual, it's for the NYS Canal Integrity Program being initiated to prevent those same catastrophes from happening here, in our own Erie Canal Communities, that were built hundreds of years ago along Erie Canal Dams.

It appears that almost universally, across most States in our Country, Dam Safety is something that is CRITICAL to the health and well-being of communities that have these aged, earthen embankments in their midst. It would seem that the experts all agree on key items that lead to a successful Dam Safety Program in their Communities.

1) Proper & Timely Embankment Inspections for potential safety issues and insuring State Dam Safety Compliance is met

2) A documented Embankment Maintenance & Inspection Manual & Guidelines that are regularly reviewed.

3) Embankments that are FREE & CLEAR of unwanted, invasive, and improper embankment vegetation covering

Because ALL of these State Dam Safety Manuals say the same thing... NO TREES ON DAMS!

The only allowed covering for earthen embankments, to make them safe & state compliant, is simple...

It is turf GRASS, mowed to a specific height that allows those proper inspections.

Read more about Erie Canal Safety here:

Please support the safety of your own Erie Canal Community, sign our petition to make the Erie Canal safe once again

Online Canal Petition -
« Last Edit: February 19, 2022, 01:14:18 pm by Doug K »