Inspection and Assessment of Dams: Agenda

Tuesday, August 20

Day One: All workshop participants will spend the first day in a “Safety Evaluations 101” format with learning goals relevant to both engineers and dam owner/operators. The primary goal of the first day is to familiarize participants with a variety of dam types, understand the function of typical dam features, obtain a general understanding of the evolution of dam construction in the United States, and become aware of common dam failure modes and the conditions that can lead to these failure modes. Actual dam failure cases will be presented so that participants will grasp the seriousness and responsibilities associated with performing dam inspections and assessments, know what to look for, and be able to identify potential deficiencies at dams before they become a problem. Public safety, security, and liability will also be discussed along with approaches to responding to dam incidents. The importance of identifying hazard creep as part of the inspection process will also be discussed.

  • 7:30 am – 8:00 am: Registration
  • 8:00 am – 8:15 am: Introductions and Course Overview
  • 8:15 am – 10:15 am: Dam Fundamentals
  • 10:15 am – 12:00 am: Why Do Dams Fail? – Part 1
  • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Lunch On Own
  • 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm: Why Do Dams Fail? – Part 2
  • 2:15 pm - 3:30 pm: Public Safety, Security and Dam Owner Liability
  • 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm: Hazard Creep, EAPs & EAP Exercises, and Responding to Dam Incidents


Wednesday, August 21

Day Two: Participants will focus on the more technical learning goals; on acceptable standards for the condition of dams, and on performing dam inspections. Day two includes techniques for inspecting and assessing embankment dams, outlet conduits, drains, relief wells, spillways, instrumentations and concrete dams. The emergence of drones and their application to inspecting and assessing dams will be discussed.

  • 8:00 am – 9:00 am: Preparing for a Dam Inspection
  • 9:15 am – 10:30 am: Inspecting Embankment Dams
  • 10:45 am – 12:00 pm: Inspecting Outlet Conduits, Drains, and Relief Wells
  • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Lunch On Own
  • 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm: Dam Instrumentation
  • 2:15 pm – 3:30 pm: Inspecting Spillways
  • 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm: Inspecting Concrete Dams


Thursday, August 22

Day Three: All participants will participate in a field trip.

  • 8:00 am - 8:30 am: Pre-field Trip Classroom Briefing
  • 8:30 am - 12:00 am: Field Trip
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm: Lunch (provided)
  • 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: Return to training facility
  • 2:00 pm – 4: 30 pm Post Field Trip Briefing and Review Inspection Reports
Special thanks to our sustaining members