Hydropower

VIDEO: Reclamation dam safety study on debris loading

In an ongoing dam safety study, engineers and researchers at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Technical Service Center (TSC) in Denver, Colo. are investigating debris loading impacting dam spillways as a result of flood events.

In an exclusive interview with HydroWorld.com, Bureau Hydraulic Investigations and Lab Services hydraulic engineer, Kent Walker, discussed the research the organization is conducting with regard to dam safety for spillways and debris loading.

According to Walker, “In this study we are investigating the impact from debris that comes down through a reservoir during a flood event, on the resultant discharge through the spillway channel, as well as the impact to the water surface elevation in a reservoir.”

The study, Walker said, is important because prior to a flood event or a dam safety risk analysis, dam officials need to be able to estimate what the impacts are with potential spillway debris loading.