Lessons Learned

Many earth-cut spillways have been constructed in erodible material that can result in unsatisfactory performance and breaching of the spillway. The integrity of all earth-cut auxiliary spillways should be evaluated to ensure that the design storm can be safely passed.

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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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Uncontrolled vegetation on and around dams can hinder inspection and lead to serious structural damage, significant maintenance costs, and possible failure.

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