ASDSO Dam Safety Toolbox

Video Surveillance

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Video surveillance has become an essential tool for monitoring and ensuring the safety of dams. Advances in this technology have allowed for real-time monitoring, early detection of potential issues, and prompt response to emergencies.

Video surveillance systems provide real-time monitoring of dams, enabling operators to observe the structure and surrounding areas continuously. High-resolution cameras are strategically positioned to capture key areas, such as the dam face, spillways, and downstream areas. This real-time monitoring allows for the early detection of seepage, cracking, or unusual movement, which may indicate potential safety risks. Timely detection of such issues allows for prompt intervention and minimizes the potential consequences.

Video surveillance systems also enhance the security of dams by detecting and deterring unauthorized access. Infrared and motion sensing cameras can detect intrusions and trigger alarms, alerting security personnel to potential threats. By actively monitoring the dam’s perimeter and access points, video surveillance helps prevent unauthorized activities that could compromise the dam's safety or security. In the event of security breaches or incidents, recorded video footage serves as valuable evidence for investigation and prosecution.

Combining video surveillance with sensors that measure water levels, rainfall, or seismic activity, is an effective way to assess the impact of environmental factors on dam operations. This integration also aids in the implementation of early warning systems, which trigger alerts and initiate appropriate response measures in the event of potential hazards, such as floods or earthquakes.

Modern video surveillance systems involve remote access, allowing operators to monitor the dam from a control center or mobile devices. Regardless of the operators' location, they will be able to monitor the dam, facilitating immediate response to any detected issues. Additionally, video surveillance systems can store and retrieve recorded footage, which can be used for training purposes, allowing operators to familiarize themselves with potential scenarios and appropriate responses. During emergencies, live video feeds inform emergency response teams, helping them assess the situation and improve their overall preparedness and effectiveness when responding to emergencies.

Best Practices Resources

Safety of Dams: Policy and Procedures (ER 1110-2-1156), USACE