Responding to Dam Emergencies: Agenda
  • Introduction:
    • Why This Topic Is Important
      • Share statistics on recent dam failures and consequences
      • Being prepared to intervene to stop or delay an active dam failure is often overlooked and not included or elaborated upon in many EAPs.  Response time is limited and being prepared is the key to success.
      • Benefits of an effective intervention (Prevent failure, provide more time to warn and evacuate, reduce consequences)
      • Consequences of a harmful intervention 
    • What You Will Learn
      • Most common dam failure modes
      • Actions that can be taken to prevent or delay each failure mode
      • Actions that should not be taken, or that should be taken with caution – do no harm!
      • Examples from case studies of responses (successful and unsuccessful) to actual dam emergencies
      • Know where to find the best resources
  • Most Common Dam Failure Modes
    • What Is A Dam Failure Mode?
    • Most Common Dam Failure Modes and Early Warning Signs
      • Seepage and internal erosion (piping, ….)
      • Spillway Erosion
      • Dam Overtopping
      • Structural instability (slope instability, sliding, overturning, settlement)
      • Other
  • Intervention
    • Intervention Action Common to All Dam Failure Modes – Lower the Reservoir!
      • First, do no harm by making releases
        • Loss of resource consequences
        • Potential downstream consequences
        • Potential structural consequences
        • Potential loss of outlet control
      • What to do if you do not have operable outlet works
        • Siphons
        • Controlled breach
        • Lower downstream reservoir to contain or absorb breach flows (special case)
    • Seepage and Internal Erosion
      • Plugging leak from upstream side
      • Reducing hydraulic gradient from downstream side
      • Intercepting and filtering seepage
    • Spillway Erosion
      • Divert flows away from eroding area(s)
      • Armor eroding areas
      • Stopping or limiting erosive flow
    • Dam Overtopping
      • Lower reservoir in advance of pending flood
      • Raise dam
      • Armor dam
      • Construct auxiliary spillway
  • What About Being Prepared to Respond to Public Safety Incidents?
  • Available Resources
    • Dam Owner Emergency Intervention Toolbox
    • ASDSO/FEMA Lessons Learned from Dam Incidents and Failure Website
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