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ASDSO Dam Safety Training

Dam safety seminars provide essential tools to help prevent disastrous dam failures.
  • Earth Science and Hydraulics West Regional Director Dean Durkee  Gannett Fleming

    Earth Science and Hydraulics West Regional Director Dean Durkee, PhD, PE, teaches how to respond to dam incidents.

  • Dams and Hydraulics Manager Paul Schweiger  Gannett Fleming

    Dams and Hydraulics Manager Paul Schweiger, PE, CFM, explains the different causes of dam failure.

  • Seminar participants measure dam slope  Gannett Fleming

    Seminar participants measure the slope of a dam during a field exercise.

  • Performance Plus President Gene Peters shows how to inspect and rehabilitate outlet works gates  Gannett Fleming

    Performance Plus President Gene Peters shows how to inspect and rehabilitate outlet works gates.

Association of State Dam Safety Officials

Various locations throughout U.S.

Our Role
Consulting, Training, Work Group Facilitation.

In Progress
In Progress
  • In-depth seminars and webinars expand knowledge of dam safety
  • Dam failure case histories provide real-world examples of common failure modes
  • Field trips to dam sites give participants hands-on instruction.

To protect people and property from the disastrous effects of avoidable dam incidents and failures, Gannett Fleming’s nationally recognized thought leaders in dam safety and hydraulics teach technical webinars and seminars on a broad range of dam safety issues for the Association of State Dam Safety Officials, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving dam safety through research, education, and communication. Presented at various locations throughout the U.S., these training sessions are applicable to engineers, dam owners, dam regulators, manufacturers, academics, and other individuals who are interested in dam safety.

Topics range from “Dam Engineering 101” to technical seminars such as “HEC-RAS with Application to Dam Break Analysis.” The webinars are broadcast nationally and then archived for future viewing. Dam owner training workshops take place onsite at dams across the country. By providing practical, straightforward information on dam safety, Gannett Fleming helps assure that U.S. dams will be safe for continued operation.

What We Did

Although the majority of dams in the U.S. have responsible owners and are properly maintained, 173 dam failures and 587 dam “incidents” occurred from 2005-2013. Gannett Fleming dams and hydraulics leaders help to improve public safety by sharing their expertise through in-depth, interactive seminars and webinars. Participants learn
fundamentals, such as the types of dams, the function of typical dam features, common dam failure modes, and the conditions that can lead to failure modes. Instructors present dam failure case histories to teach how to identify potential deficiencies before they become a problem. Field exercises at dam sites give participants the opportunity to practice hands-on inspection techniques.

In the dam owner training seminars, instructors discuss public safety, security, and liability, as well as best practices in responding to dam incidents. They emphasize the importance of reviewing records, conducting visual examinations, and monitoring instrumentation. In addition, they introduce specialized inspection techniques, including confined space entry, conduit inspections using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), and underwater diving inspection. The dam owner seminars include field trips to two local dams where participants practice inspection techniques, observe a conduit inspection using an ROV, observe the proper operation of water control gates, and collect dam instrumentation readings. 

Key Features

  • Dam safety seminars satisfy mandatory continuing education requirements for Professional Engineers
  • “The Need-to-Know Basics of Owning a Dam” course covers state dam safety laws; dam failure modes; operation, maintenance, and safety inspections; and emergency action plans
  • “Dam Engineering 101” teaches basic dam design, erosion, and common problems
  • “Operation and Maintenance of Dams” provides instruction on the different types of dams, the causes of dam failures, and how they relate to maintenance
  • “Dam Failures and Lessons Learned” addresses potential failures modes and how to avert failures
  • “Inspection and Assessment of Dams” covers the operation and maintenance of dams, dam inspections, and compliance with current design standards
  • “HEC-RAS with Application to Dam Break Analysis” introduces a computer program that models the hydraulics of water flow.

Similar Projects: Water/Wastewater: Dams & Levees, Dams & Levees: Emergency Action Plans & EAP Exercises, Dams & Levees: Flood Hazard & Risk Assessment, Security & Safety, Dams & Levees: Special Services, Water/Wastewater