Dam Safety 2018: Technical Workshop - On-Site Response Guidance for Seepage and Internal Erosion Incidents

This workshop has filled to capacity and registration for it has now closed. To be placed on a waiting list for the workshop, please email ASDSO. If there are any cancellations, we will offer open seats to individuals on the list.

When: Thursday, September 13 - 8:30 am - 12:00 pm

Registration Fees: $200 per person includes all course instruction and materials as well as beverage breaks. - This workshop has filled. To be added to the waiting list please email ASDSO

Professional Development Hours: Up to 3.5 professional development hours are available for attending the full workshop. Attendees will receive a form on which to record contact hours for continuing education credits.

Description: Responding to uncontrolled seepage that has initiated internal erosion of an embankment or foundation can be especially challenging. The conditions leading to mechanisms of seepage and internal erosion of earthen dams are reasonably well understood by experts who specialize in these topics. Ongoing research and experience with actual dam incidents are further increasing and refining that understanding. However, a missing link appears to be how to translate that knowledge into specific guidance for real-world emergency response during an uncontrolled seepage and internal erosion event.

This half day workshop has two main objectives:

  1. to provide concise, step-by-step guidance for key technical elements of response to the seepage/internal erosion event; and
  2. to practice implementing this guidance by conducting team table-top response exercises.

The workshop will address:

  • selecting practical, potentially available materials for rapid construction of filters and drains, including aggregates and geosynthetic materials applicable to the range of flow rates encountered;
  • typical designs of practical filters and drains, including zoning/layering and their dimensions; and
  • practical, proven methods of construction under conditions of active seepage flow.

Workshop handouts will include straightforward, easy-to follow response procedures with accompanying tables, charts and figures to illustrate the key points and assist in selecting appropriate materials and designing an effective system. The suggested procedures could be considered when developing a dam’s emergency action plan (EAP) and as a reference for first responders. The table-top exercises will provide the workshop participants with the opportunity to practice designing a filter/drain response to one of two or three different hypothetical uncontrolled, concentrated seepage events. After this workshop, participants will be better prepared to address such an event and to share their knowledge and understanding with others directly responsible for first response.


Doug Yadon, PE, GE, PG, CEG
AECOM Technical Services, Inc.
Senior Consultant/Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geologist

Jennifer Williams, PE
AECOM Technical Services, Inc.
Dams Market Sector Leader

Jason Boomer, PE
AECOM Technical Services, Inc.
Geotechnical Team Manager

Michele Lemieux, PE
Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Dam Safety Section
Dam Safety Program Manager

Bill McCormick, PE
Colorado Division of Water Resources, Dam Safety Program
Chief, Dam Safety


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