ASDSO Dam Safety Toolbox

Engineering Oversight of Construction

From ASDSO Dam Safety Toolbox
Jump to: navigation, search

Gross Reservoir Expansion Project

(Image Source: Denver Water).

"Quality construction is critical to dam safety. Construction personnel must be constantly alert to recognize and recommend the possible need for adjustments in the design, construction materials, and construction practices to properly provide for actual conditions encountered. The essential aspects of the construction program include:

  • "Keeping construction engineers and inspectors informed of the design philosophies, assumptions, and intent of the designer with regard to foundation excavation and treatment, to the usage and processing of construction materials, and to the design concepts associated with the construction of embankments and concrete structures and with the installation of mechanical and electrical equipment
  • "Keeping construction engineers and inspectors informed of the field control measures and tests required to ensure quality construction
  • "Maintaining an adequately staffed and equipped materials laboratory at the dam site to meet the field testing requirements
  • "Providing a formal plan for construction inspection to ensure that each facet of essential work is accomplished in multishift operations
  • "Giving the Project Construction Engineer the authority to suspend work until all site conditions different from those anticipated are evaluated and the necessary design or construction changes are implemented
  • "Inspection and acceptation of critical work stages, by the appropriate engineers or geologist (design and/or technical review personnel)
  • "Keeping a job diary and documentation that provides a complete history of the work
  • "Providing mapping and photographic documentation of the construction progress and of significant events; e.g., geologic maps and photographs of final treated foundation." [1]


Learn more about the importance of proper construction oversight from the failure of Williamsburg Reservoir Dam at

Best Practices Resources

Engineering Guidelines for the Evaluation of Hydropower Projects: Chapter 7- Construction Quality Control Inspection Program, FERC


On-Demand Webinar: Dam Construction Quality Control: Dos, Dont's and Lessons Learned

On-Demand Webinar: Quality Assurance and Field Inspection for Dam Construction Projects

On-Demand Webinar: Pitfalls in Quality Control Processes for Compacted Earth Fill

On-Demand Webinar: Fundamentals of Concrete Construction Inspections for Dams and Appurtenant Structures

On-Demand Webinar: Managing Increased Dam Safety Risk During Reconstruction


Revision ID: 7389
Revision Date: 07/21/2023