Reevaluating Spillway Adequacy of Existing Dams

Task Committee on the Reevaluation of the Adequacy of Spillways of Existing Dams of the Committee on Hydrometeorology of the Hydraulics Division, ASCE

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 2, Pg. 337-372

Document Type: Journal Paper


Spillway capacity is a vital factor in the review of the safety of a dam, particularly where overtopping could jeopardize human lives or cause catastrophic economic loss. The determination of the adequacy of spillways of existing dams should be based on a thorough economic analysis of the cost of risks and the cost of modifications. Modification is appropriate from an economic standpoint only if the total of these two costs is reduced. Proposed standards enable an engineer to determine an acceptable level of safety at a cost commensurate with the risks. If there are compelling reasons for selecting other than the lowest total cost, the reasons should be explained and the additional cost revealed. The economic analysis requires consideration of values of human life.

Subject Headings: Economic factors | Risk management | Spillways | Dams | Human factors | Dam safety | Wave overtopping | Disasters

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