Association of State Dam Safety Officials - February 2016 

ASDSO Invites Award Nominations, Scholarship Applications      
Award Nominations Due June 9 
ASDSO is accepting 2016 award nominations through June 9 for the National Dam Rehabilitation Project of the Year, for exemplary design and adherence to professional standards; the Regional Awards of Merit, for contributions to dam safety on a regional level; the Danny McCook Medal, for achievements in geotechnical engineering; and the Terry Hampton Medal, for achievements in hydrology/hydraulics. 

Small dam projects are eligible for the National Rehabilitation Project of the Year award. All project construction must be completed, and the project in full operation by April 30, 2016. 
Nomination forms and additional information about the awards are available on the Awards Program page of, under "About ASDSO."

Scholarship Applications Due March 31
ASDSO is seeking applicants for the 2016-2017 ASDSO Memorial Senior Undergraduate Scholarship. U.S. citizens planning to graduate in May or December 2017 are eligible. This is the 25th year of ASDSO's Scholarship Program, which awards up to $10,000 per year to students planning careers related to dam design, construction, or operation.This year's winners will also have the opportunity to attend Dam Safety 2016 in Philadelphia.

A fillable-form application is posted at, under "Information for Students/Faculty."  For more information, or to download the scholarship application, visit ASDSO's scholarship page.  
Looking Back at February
Looking Ahead to March

ASDSO held a webinar on Dam Safety with 3D Weirs.

ASDSO held a seminar on HEC-RAS in Phoenix, AZ.

ASDSO observed National Engineers Week by participating in Engineering Day at the University of Kentucky.

ASDSO reps participate in the Department of Homeland Security Dams Sector meetings in Arlington, VA.

40th anniversary of the Newfound Creek, NC dam failure.

ASDSO Webinar: Foundation Cutoff Walls for Dams and Levees

9-11  ASDSO West Regional Conference, Sacramento, CA

13  20th anniversary of the Bergeron (Meadow Pond), NH dam failure

14  10th anniversary of the Ka Loko, HI dam failure

15-16  ASCE Legislative Fly-in, Washington, D.C.

15-16  DHS Dams Sector Dam Security and Protection Technical Seminar, Folsom, CA.

22-23  Dam Safety '16 Program Committee meeting, Portland, OR

29-31  ASDSO Seminar: Fundamentals of Reinforced Concrete Design of Hydraulic Structures, Baltimore, MD

Deadline for applying for ASDSO's 2016-2017 Senior Undergraduate Scholarships.


ASDSO Celebrates Engineers Week     E-Day 2013

ASDSO celebrated the 65th birthday of Engineers Week by exhibiting its model dam at the University of Kentucky's annual Engineering Day on February 27. The dam was constructed in 2012 by University of Kentucky engineering students with plans provided by the New Jersey DEP Dam Safety Program, and "rehabilitated" in 2014 by volunteers from Stantec. 

Committee Activities     

Board Approves Subcommittee on Hazardous Hydraulic Structures 

At its January 2016 meeting, ASDSO's Board of Directors approved the creation of a subcommittee to look at safety around dams focusing primarily on the issue of safety at low-head dams. This group will operate under the auspices of the Dam Owner Outreach Committee. 
Name Change
The Board also approved a name change for the Dam Design and Construction Technical Committee. It will now be known simply as the Design and Construction Committee.

Publications and Resources  

NDSP Technical Seminar #23 Presentations Available
The 23rd National Dam Safety Program (NDSP) technical seminar, Internal Evaluation Techniques for Earthen Dams, was held February 17-18, 2016 at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Pennsylvania. Through an agreement with FEMA, seminar presentations and support materials from this seminar, as well as the previous four NDSP technical seminars, are posted at, under Technical Resources - Download Documents - National Dam Safety Program Workshops and Seminars.

ASDSO Survey: Modifying a Dam to a Roadway Culvert

ASDSO frequently conducts informal surveys of state dam safety programs, primarily in response to requests from state program personnel. Responses to the following question are now posted on the ASDSO Surveys page, in the Members Only section of

I have a dam where the consultant wants to drain the lake and replace the principal spillway pipe with a culvert in an attempt to change the definition of the dam to a culvert. I would like to survey the other states to see if they have any guidance regarding when a dam would become a roadway with culvert or how they might handle this situation.

ASDSO Hosts Emergency Response Resource Center

Following significant flooding events in several states, the ASDSO Board of Directors discussed ways to support states in emergency response situations. This conversation will continue as the new strategic plan is developed, but as a first step, ASDSO has created an Emergency Response Resource Center in the Members Only section of This page has links to many documents and examples provided by the Colorado Dam Safety Program concerning Emergency Management Assistance Compacts, the use of volunteers, goals, inspection forms, etc. States are invited to provide additional examples of emergency response documents for the page.

New Reports from the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center

The following ERDC companion reports were published in February 2016: 
Best Practice Guide to Tremie Concrete for Deep Foundations

The Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) and the European Federation of Foundation Contractors (EFFC) have released a free download of the recently published Best Practice Guide to Tremie Concrete for Deep Foundations.
The guide is the result of the initial study efforts of the joint DFI and EFFC Concrete Task Group, established in 2014 to study common problems in drilled shafts and diaphragm walls constructed using tremie methods. A follow-up research and development project is being conducted by the Technical University of Munich in conjunction with the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Results of this study, to be completed this year, will be incorporated into a second edition of the guide. 

Ancient Engineering Practices Explored in ASDSO Member's New Book

A new book by longtime ASDSO member Kenneth Wright and co-authors Arminda Gibaja Oviedo, Gordon McEwan, Richard Miksad, and Ruth Wright - Incamisana - Engineering an Inca Water Temple (ASCE Press, 2016) - explores the ancient Incans' mastery of hydraulic engineering works and aesthetics. Preserved under a massive amount of alluvial soil, the Incamisana was rediscovered in 1980, revealing a complex water system based on the same engineering principles employed in modern waterworks.
ASDSO Training Calendar  
Attendee registration is now open for the following events:
-March 8  *Approved for continuing professional education credits for NY-licensed engineers.

- March 29-31 in Baltimore, MD

All previously held webinars are available in archived (recorded) format for on-demand viewing.

Advance registrations are still being accepted for the 2016 West Regional Conference, Engineering for Extremes: Seismic Design for Dams in the Western U.S. This one-of-a-kind specialty conference will be held March 9-11 at the Sacramento (CA) Convention Center.  Register online or by fax before 5 pm Eastern Time on Friday, March 4.  ON-SITE registration will open at 12 pm Pacific Time on Wednesday, 3/9 in the West Lobby of the Convention Center.

Deep Foundations, Seepage Control and Remediation Conference

ASDSO is participating as a cooperating organization at the Deep Foundations Institute  International Conference on Deep Foundations, Seepage Control and Remediation
October 12-15, 2016, New York City.

Focus on Security     

Register Now for the Dam Security and Protection Technical Seminar

The Dams Sector-Specific Agency (SSA) Dam Security and Protection Technical Seminar will take place March 15-16, 2016  in Folsom, CA. The seminar will be hosted by the California Department of Water Resources at HDR in Folsom, CA.

The seminar is designed to provide dam owners and operators, emergency managers, and other stakeholders with information on the fundamentals of security and protection for dams, levees, and related facilities, toward effective implementation of security and protection programs.

This course provides participants with basic concepts related to threat, vulnerability, and consequence as key risk variables. It provides an overview of threats and relevant attack vectors and describes potential suspicious activities. The course addresses common physical vulnerabilities and related protective measures, including both land-side and waterside considerations. It includes information on the basic components of effective security and crisis management programs, including the development of security plans and incident response plans. It also addresses cybersecurity risks, security compromises, and privacy incidents.

For more info, please contact
State Notes    
Florida workshop attendees

Connecticut - As of February 3, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection will require inspections of high-hazard potential dams every 2 years, significant-hazard dams every 5 years, moderate-hazard dams every 7 years, and low-hazard dams every 10 years. Required EAPs for HHP and SHP dams shall be updated at least every 2 years. The updated regulation is available here. [Related: Dams need inspection under new state rules, Ridgefield Press, 2/22/16]

Florida - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Dam Safety Program recently hosted dam safety workshops in Pensacola and Brandon for more than 125 dam owners, professionals and regulators. The FEMA-funded workshops, held in collaboration with the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), featured presentations by state and national NRCS representatives, FEMA officials, DEP personnel, and engineering consultants. The sessions were the first jointly held by the DEP and the NRCS. Read more.

South Carolina - This month the House Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs held hearings on H4565, which would require more frequent inspections of high-hazard potential dams and stiffen penalties for safety violations.  SC Lawmakers Hesitant to Crack Down on Dam Owners After Flood, The State, 2/24/2016.

U.S. Capitol
Legislative Update     

House Roundtable, Senate Committee Hearing on WRDA

During the first week of February, the House Subcommittee on Water Resources held a second roundtable discussion on a new Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) in 2016. In 2014, this legislation promulgated the National Levee Safety Program and reauthorized the National Dam Safety Program, among other objectives.

On February 10, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) held an oversight hearing on the importance of enacting a new WRDA. Among the panelists was American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) President-Elect Norma Jean Mattei, who stressed the importance of reauthorizing the National Dam Safety Program. Testimony from the hearing and an archived webcast are available on the EPW webpage.
There are also efforts underway by interested lawmakers to try to insert language that would create a national dam rehabilitation grant program. ASDSO is working with these lawmakers and ASCE to finalize the language of this program, which has been proposed in the past but never passed by Congress.

House Appropriations Committee Watershed Program Testimony

The appropriations process in this Congress is underway. National Watershed Coalition (NWS) Chair Mark Gilbert has submitted testimony to the House Appropriations Committee, including NWC's recommendations for annual funding of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Watershed Program.

NWC Fact Sheet - Watershed Program Infrastructure: A Critical Investment for the Future

ASDSO endorses the Small Watershed Dam Rehabilitation Program, which grants rehabilitation funding to watershed dams originally built through the old PL-566 program operated by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Federal Focus    

Pre-Disaster Mitigation and Flood Mitigation Assistance Grants

FEMA has announced the application period for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant programs: March 15 - June 15, 2016. 

The PDM program provides funds on an annual basis for hazard mitigation planning and the implementation of mitigation projects for the purpose of reducing overall risk to the population and structures, while reducing reliance on federal funding from actual disaster declarations.  FEMA is making $90 million available for FY 2016 PDM grants.

The FMA program provides funds on an annual basis so that measures can be taken to reduce or eliminate risk of flood damage to buildings insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  FEMA is making $199 million available for FY 2016 FMA grants. 

USACE Galveston District Lauded for Exemplary Community Relations Efforts

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District received the USACE's Herbert A. Kassner Public Affairs Competition Award, Community Relations category, for its Addicks and Barker Dam Safety Program. The annual journalism contest received 172 entries.

The public announcement of the USACE Dam Safety Program's reclassification of the Addicks and Barker dams presented staff with the challenge of communicating the findings to 1.2 million residents of risks associated with living downstream of the dams, the $4,432,245 short-term interim risk reduction measures in store, and the $75-100 million long-term construction plan to reinforce the nearly 70-year-old structures. These efforts by the Galveston District were also recognized last summer by the Public Relations Society of America.

Remember to Check Your Email   

ASDSO's Training & Education Newsletter is sent on the 15th of
each month.

2016 ASDSO Exhibit & Sponsorship Opportunities
Now in the ASDSO Bookstore

Instructors: Brian Crookston, Ph.D., P.E., and Greg Paxson, P.E.

Inadequate spillway capacity, significant hydrologic loadings on embankments and structures, and operation and maintenance are common dam safety issues, instigating the need for risk-reduction measures and/or rehabilitation. 3D weirs, or weirs with a crest length greater than the spillway width, are a particularly efficient approach to reduce these concerns. These weirs are also commonly used in new dams and may be useful as levee spillways. In some cases, these structures may be an alternative to gated spillways, which require operation and maintenance and can cause downstream flooding from mis-operation or failure.

Examples of 3D weirs include curved weirs, box-inlet drop spillways, labyrinth and piano-key weirs, and labyrinth fuse gates. Because of their hydraulic performance and site-adaptive geometries, these types of weirs are of increasing interest to those involved in dam safety, including practitioners, researchers, regulators, and dam owners; however, these spillways have complex hydraulic behaviors and their design can be challenging.

Member Price: $60.00 
CA Dept. of Water Resources   
Focus on Levees    

Levees and Flood Risk 

Research carried out by a team from the University of California at Davis concluded that levees can increase the flood risk of structures behind them.

Researchers modeled levee failures and four flood conditions - 2-year, 5-year, 100-year and 400-year flood levels - with and without levees. The study included floodplain land excluded from flood hazard maps because it is behind levees accredited by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The researchers noted that excluding such lands underestimates the actual flood risk nationwide.

Read more.   
For additional dam safety resources, search 

Member News
Bob Clay

Bob Clay, who had served as ASDSO state representative for Missouri for the last several years, is retiring from state service on March 1. Many thanks to Bob for his leadership and service to dam safety and to ASDSO. The Missouri state representative effective March 1, 2016 will be Glenn Lloyd, acting Chief Engineer of the Missouri dam safety program.


Welcome New Members!

The following individuals joined ASDSO in February:

Frank Amend, P.E., GeoStabilization International, Grand Junction, CO
Tom Boardman, P.E., GE, East Bay Municipal Utility District, Oakland, CA
Rick Brown, City of Wildwood, Grover, MO
Chad Druffel, City of Tacoma, Tacoma, WA
Dennis Galbreath, Green Mountain International, LLC, Waynesville, NC
Glenn Galtere, City of Vallejo, Vallejo, CA
Kevin Gerst, P.E., S.E., HDR Engineering, Inc., Folsom, CA
Laura Gray, KS Department of Agriculture, Manhattan, KS
Jedediah Greenwood, Barr Engineering Company, Lexington, KY
Steven Halcomb, PND Engineers, Inc., Anchorage, AK
Joseph Hess, Jr., ANTHC, Anchorage, AK
Andrea Keirstead, City of Vallejo, Vallejo, CA
Scott Kieffer, Ph.D, P.E., C.E.G, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Styria, AU
Stephanie Kight, HDR Engineering, Inc., Charlotte, NC
Edward Lavelle, Middlefork Irrigation District, Mount Hood Parkdale, OR
Timothy Lindemann, City of Vallejo, Vallejo, CA
Patrick Miller, South Carolina Emergency Management Division, West Columbia, SC
Cory Miyamoto, P.E., GEI Consultants, Inc., Oakland, CA
Charlotte Peele, KS Department of Agriculture, Manhattan, KS
Justin Phalen, SAGE Engineers, Inc., Oakland, CA
Charles Poliseno, Duke Energy, Charlotte, NC
Isabelle Rawlings, GEI Consultants, Inc., Oakland, CA
Jill Reed, RIZZO Associates, Pittsburgh, PA
Patrick Regan, Federal Energy Regulatory Commissio, Portland, OR
Robert Richardson, United Water Conservation District, Santa Paula, CA
Nathan Rockwood, Mead & Hunt, Inc, Lexington, KY
Terry Ryan, City of Tacoma, Tacoma, WA
Brian Sanders, Gomez & Sullivan Engineers, P.C., Utica, NY
Thomas Schuerman, P.E., NE Department of Natural Resources, Lincoln, NE
Melissa Setz, Geosyntec Consultants, Kennesaw, GA
Christopher A. Shoemaker, Silver Lake Utilities, Lake Placid, FL
John Siwula, GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc., Waukesha, WI
Makar Sokol, City of Vallejo, Vallejo, CA
Yi Tyan Tsai, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Brian J. Vanciel, City of Vallejo, Vallejo, CA
Hugo Velasquez, GEI Consultants, Inc., Oakland, CA
YAN WANG, Gannett Fleming, Camp Hill, PA
Mark Witherspoon, City of Vallejo, Vallejo, CA

News & Events from Other Organizations 


The following positions are posted in the ASDSO Career Center:

Sales Engineer
International Erosion Control Systems, United States
Post Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Close Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Supervisory Civil Engineer
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Casper, Wyoming
Post Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Close Date: Wednesday, March 3, 2016

Regulatory and Compliance Engineer Senior
Maryland Department of the Environment, Baltimore
Post Date: Monday, February 22, 2016
Close Date: Monday, March 21, 2016

Senior Civil Engineer
Gomez and Sullivan Engineers, DPC, Utica, New York
Post Date: Monday, February 15, 2016
Close Date: Friday, April 15, 2016

Principal Dams Engineer (Structural)
Key Recruitment Services (on behalf of a consultancy), North Island, New Zealand
Post Date: Sunday, February 14, 2016
Close Date: Monday, March 14, 2016

Soil & Water Engineering Specialist
NYS Canal Corporation, Albany, New York
Post Date: Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Close Date: Saturday, March 26, 2016

Structural Engineer
RJH Consultants, Inc.
Denver (Metro Area), Colorado
Post Date: Thursday, January 21, 2016
Close Date: Monday, March 21, 2016

Visit the ASDSO Career Center to learn more about these positions, view student resumes, or to post career and internship opportunities.   



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Association of State Dam Safety Officials
239 South Limestone St.
 Lexington, Kentucky 40508
This newsletter is written and distributed by the Association of State Dam Safety Officials, 239 S. Limestone St., Lexington, KY 40508.  Contact ASDSO by phone (859.550.2788; toll-free: 855.228.9732), fax (859.550.2795), or email (

ASDSO 2015-2016 Board of Directors: Jim Pawloski, PE (President) - Michigan;  Dusty Myers, PE (President-Elect) - Mississippi; Jon Garton, PE (Treasurer) - Iowa; Roger Adams, PE (Secretary) - Pennsylvania; Tom Woosley, PE (Past President) - Georgia; Charlie Cobb, PE - Alaska; Shane Cook, PE - North Carolina; Jim Gallagher, PE - New Hampshire; Michele Lemieux, PE - Montana; Bill McCormick, PE - Colorado; Art Sengupta, PE - Florida; Paul Simon, PE - Missouri; Charles Thompson, PE - New Mexico; Hal Van Aller, PE - Maryland.  Advisory Committee Representatives: Eric Ditchey, PE; Paul Schweiger, PE
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