Spillways are critical to passing flood events around dams without undue risk to the downstream population or the dam facility. Historically, spillway evaluation and assessment has been performed by personnel with primarily a geotechnical or structural engineering background. Hence spillways rarely benefit from an assessment by an engineer with experience in the design, construction, operation and assessment of hydraulic structures. Inspection of existing conditions, review of design and construction records, and an understanding of past practices that have not proven sustainable are all important elements of a complete spillway assessment.
The objective of this project is to develop guidance for conducting an effective spillway assessment that will either confirm the adequacy of the spillway for passing flows around the dam or identify issues requiring correction or further evaluation.