Dam Safety & Security

ASDSO awards 2011-2012 National Dam Safety Scholarship

The Association of State Dam Safety Officials has selected Alexander McCaskill as the recipient of its 2011-2012 Senior Undergraduate Scholarship.

This is the 20th year of the ASDSO Scholarship Program, which awards up to $10,000 to U.S. citizens enrolled in accredited programs in engineering or related fields and planning careers related to the design, construction or operation of dams.

McCaskill’s application was chosen from about 40 submittals. He will receive a $9,000 scholarship for the 2011-2012 academic year, as well as a travel stipend to attend Dam Safety ‘11, ASDSO’s 2011 national conference, to be held September 25-29 in National Harbor, Md.

McCaskill is a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, majoring in civil engineering with a geotechnical emphasis. He is vice president for the UMKC student chapter of the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers and also holds student memberships in ASDSO, the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Institute of Steel Construction and Association of Engineering Geologists. His honor society memberships include Chi Epsilon, Tau Beta Pi and Phi Kappa Phi.

For the past year and a half, McCaskill has been employed by The Judy Company Inc., a geotechnical specialty contractor, where he has gained experience in dam safety engineering. After graduation, he intends to pursue a graduate degree in geotechnical engineering.

Applications for ASDSO’s 2011-2012 dam safety scholarships will soon be available at www.damsafety.org. The deadline for applying is April 1, 2012.

Aging dams in New Brunswick undergoing scrutiny

The Canadian province of New Brunswick is forming a working group to review the management of dams across the province, to determine whether new laws should be developed.

This decision came about as a result of flooding in southwestern New Brunswick in December 2010. The flood damaged homes and businesses. There are about 10 dams in this region and about 240 in all of New Brunswick. The majority of these dams are small, owned by mining and forestry companies.

The working group will include personnel from several departments, including environment; agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries; natural resources; public safety; and energy. It will consider how a changing climate with more extreme weather events might impact the operation of dams, says Jennifer Graham, spokeswoman for the Department of Environment.

New Brunswick does not currently have a regulatory regime for dam safety. Thus, dams in this province do not have approvals to operate. However, dams with powerhouse that have a capacity of more than 3 MW are required to be registered under the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation, Graham says.

Nine dams in Tennessee require repair after storm damage

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) says nine dams in Tennessee need repair due to storm damages.

NRCS, a unit of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, says repairs needed are:

  • Debris removal and repair of damaged areas of Jennings Creek Dam No. 15 in Jackson County. Work is expected to require 213 days and cost $500,000 to $1 million.
  • Debris removal and repair of damaged spillways of Jennings Creek Dams No. 6 and 10 in Jackson County. Work is expected to require 72 days and cost $250,000 to $500,000.
  • Debris removal and repair of damaged spillways of Jennings Creek Dams No. 13 and 18 in Jackson County. NRCS said spillway outlet channels were severely damaged during a May 2010 flood. The primary portion of the work is to install a grouted rock riprap chute in the spillway outlet channel to stabilize the auxiliary spillway. Work is expected to require 99 days and cost $100,000 to $250,000.
  • Debris removal and repair of damaged spillways of Jennings Creek Dam No. 17 in Macon County. Work is expected to require 36 days and cost $100,000 to $250,000.
  • Debris removal and repair of damaged areas of Hurricane Creek Dam No. 9 in Humphreys County. The dam has three main areas of work, the emergency spillway and berm drains, impact drain and access road. Work is expected to require 53 days and cost $100,000 to $250,000.
  • Debris removal and repair of damaged spillways of Line Creek Dam No. 3B in Clay County. Work is expected to require 160 days and cost $25,000 to $100,000.
  • Spillway repair of Jennings Creek Dam No. 3 in Jackson County. NRCS said spillway outlet channels were severely damaged during the May 2010 flood. The primary portion of the work is to install two grouted rock riprap chutes in the spillway outlet channels to stabilize the auxiliary spillways. Work is expected to require 98 days and cost $250,000 to $500,000.

Repairs to be performed at Corps California dams

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to hire a small business to maintain and repair more than a dozen dams in its Sacramento District of California.

Work is to be performed at dams throughout California, many associated with non-governmental hydro projects licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Many of the dams on the list are is being studied for remedial actions to prevent possible failure during earthquakes.

The project list includes: Lake Isabella Dam and the 11.95-MW Isabella project; Success Lake Dam and the 1.4-MW Success project; Lake Kaweah Dam and the 17-MW Terminus project; Pine Flat Dam and the 165-MW Pine Flat project; Hensley Lake (Hidden Dam); Eastman Lake (Buchanan Dam); New Hogan Dam and the 2.65-MW New Hogan project; Englebright Dam and the 12-MW Narrows project and a portion of the 395-MW Yuba River project; Martis Creek Dam; Black Butte Dam and the 6.2-MW Black Butte project; and the Merced Stream Group (Burns, Bear, Owens, and Mariposa dams).

The Corps will award an indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contract for dam maintenance and repairs, including, but not limited to, emergency, service, low-flow and tainter radial gates; conduit liners; penstocks; breast and wing walls; trashracks; bulkhead gates; all facets of painting, paint removal, and concrete repair; spillways; intakes; plumbing, electrical, hydraulic, and pump systems; drain holes; vertical drains; conduits; and gate seals for Sacramento District dams. The contract is to cover five years at a maximum cost of $5 million.

Reclamation to repair Red Willow Dam in Nebraska

The Bureau of Reclamation plans to rehabilitate Red Willow Dam, which has been a concern since the discovery of a sinkhole and cracking through the embankment in 2009.

Discovery of these problems prompted Reclamation to draw down Hugh Butler Lake, an 86,630-acre-foot reservoir that is impounded by the dam, which is on Red Willow Creek in Nebraska.

Expected repairs include:

  • Excavation of the embankment and toe drain;
  • Construction of a filter/drainage blanket;
  • Placement of geonet composite on the excavated face of the embankment;
  • Construction of a two-stage sand filter and coarse sand drain system;
  • Placement of geotextile on coarse sand and gravel drain;
  • Construction of a downstream stability berm;
  • Construction of a two-stage filter drain in the channel and slopes downstream of the spillway and outlet works stilling basin;
  • Repair of portions of the upstream dam face; and
  • Construction of a toe drain system with monitoring wells.

The work is expected to cost $10 million to $25 million.

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