Dam Rehabilitation

Experience in dam design and rehabilitation

SWS personnel have extensive experience in dam design and rehabilitation. The scope of our services has included the design and rehabilitation of earth and rock-fill dams, evaluation of spillway adequacy, design storm and probable maximum flood estimation, irrigation canal modifications and embankment stability analysis. We have provided construction plans and specifications, bid documents, bid evaluation, and construction management services for many dams worldwide. Our services include the following capabilities:

  • Site investigation
  • Civil design of new dams
  • Rehabilitation at existing dams and spillways
  • Flood analysis
  • Economic analysis and costing
  • Engineering, procurement, and construction management

Project Examples:

Black Hollow dam rehabilitation
- Colorado, USA
Client - Water Supply and Storage Company of Colorado
Description - SWS completed the preparation of plans and specifications for the stabilization and spillway design of a 75-year old dam in Northern Colorado. The rehabilitation required the hydrologic evaluation of the dam and reservoir under the probable maximum precipitation conditions and the stability analysis of the two separate embankments holding the reservoir. The existing spillway was enlarged and stabilized and a secondary spillway designed for conveyance of flows which exceed 30% of the probable maximum flood. The rehabilitation included the construction of a toe drain throughout the entire length of the main embankment and the installation of cut-off walls within the spillways to prevent head cutting.

Rocky Ridge dam rehabilitation
- Colorado, USA
Client - Water Supply and Storage Company of Colorado
Description - This project involved the hydrologic and stability analysis of an 85-year old dam and reservoir. The reservoir and existing spillway were analyzed for the probable maximum precipitation event and the spillway consequently redesigned to convey the design flow without overtopping the structure. The construction also included the reconstruction of an irrigation canal (with a capacity of 18 m 3/s) at the toe of the dam with the design and construction of a fuse plug spillway on the downstream bank. SWS provided the construction supervision of the spillway enlargement.

Tailing dam construction monitoring
- Idaho, USA
Client - Thompson Creek Mining Company, Idaho
Description - Due to a potential stability problem with a 450-ft high tailing dam, SWS personnel redesigned and reconstructed the toe of the tailing dam through the installation of a toe drain manifold system. Dewatering of the toe dropped the phreatic surface within the dam approximately 50 ft over a 4-month period, and center line deposition of the tailings is continuing with an anticipated maximum dam height of 750 ft. The phreatic surface within the dam is monitored constantly and the overall stability of the dam has increased significantly during the last four years.