ASDSO Dam Safety Toolbox

Seepage Collection and Control Systems: The Devil is in the Details

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France, John / ASDSO, 2004

Construction of seepage collection and control systems is one of the most common types of dam safety modifications. Seepage collection and control systems are also typically included in new embankment dam enlargements.

As is the case with most designs, the success of a seepage collection and control system is dependent on a number of design and construction details. The author has been involved in many seepage collection and control systems, both as the responsible designer and as a technical reviewer. From experience with those systems, the author has developed opinions regarding a number of the details involved in design and construction of seepage collection and control systems. Those opinions and the reasons for them are the topics of this paper. The specific aspects of seepage collection and control systems discussed in this paper are:

  • Drain pipes embedded in sand.
  • Verification of successful drain pipe installation.
  • Access to drain pipes for future inspection and maintenance.
  • Sand filter gradations.
  • Use of standard gradations.
  • Chimney drain width.
  • One-stage versus two-stage chimney drains.

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2004 (current)

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Revision ID: 7743
Revision Date: 11/01/2023