Lessons Learned

All dams need an operable means of drawing down the reservoir.

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Concrete gravity dams should be evaluated to accommodate full uplift.

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Dam incidents and failures can fundamentally be attributed to human factors.

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Emergency Action Plans can save lives and must be updated, understood, and practiced regularly to be effective.

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High and significant hazard dams should be designed to pass an appropriate design flood. Dams constructed prior to the availability of extreme rainfall data should be assessed to make sure they have adequate spillway capacity.

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Intervention can stop or minimize consequences of a dam failure. Warning signs should not be ignored.

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Regular operation, maintenance, and inspection of dams is important to the early detection and prevention of dam failure.

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Seepage along penetrations through embankment dams should be controlled using a filter diaphragm instead of anti-seep collars.

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Stability of the dam foundation and other geologic features must be considered during dam design.

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The first filling of a reservoir should be planned, controlled, and monitored.

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