ASDSO Dam Safety Toolbox

Contamination / Environmental Pollutants

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"Water quality encompasses the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of water and the abiotic and biotic interrelationships. The quality of the water and the aquatic environment is significantly affected by management practices employed by the water control manager. Water quality control is an authorized purpose at many Corps of Engineers reservoirs. However, even if not an authorized project purpose, water quality is an integral consideration during all phases of a project's life, from planning through operation. The minimum goal is to meet State and Federal water quality standards in effect for the lakes and tailwaters. The operating objective is to maximize beneficial uses of the resources through enhancement and nondegradation of water quality."[1]

"The primary focus of these guidelines is the planning, data collection, and design aspects of multi-purpose wetlands to meet Reclamation ecosystem restoration goals, which include improved water quality. Both hydraulic analysis and statistical analysis of wetlands are necessary for proper design. Monitoring of water quality, wetland health, and wildlife habitat is equally necessary for proper evaluation of the systems and subsequent development of future designs... There are six important input data recommendations for wetland water quality analysis and ecosystem restoration:[2]

  • Differentiate Between Natural and Constructed Wetlands
  • Identify Upstream Boundary Conditions
  • Selecting Sampling Locations
  • Develop a Wetland Sample Analysis Plan
  • Hydraulic Analysis
  • Statistical Data Analysis"[2]

Best Practices Resources

Dam Removal Analysis Guidelines for Sediment, USBR

Hydrologic Engineering Requirements for Reservoirs (EM 1110-2-1420), USACE


  1. Hydrologic Engineering Requirements for Reservoirs (EM 1110-2-1420), USACE, 1997
  2. 2.0 2.1 Guidelines for Collecting Data to Support Statistical Analysis of Water Quality for Wetland Planning, USBR, 2013

Revision ID: 7204
Revision Date: 07/11/2023