Corps Guidelines for Dam Safety Inspection Need Revamping

by Bob Buehler, (M.ASCE), Chf.; Flood Control Branch, Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tenn.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1975, Vol. 45, Issue 1, Pg. 74-75

Document Type: Feature article


A protest (1) that Proposed Guidelines for Safety Inspection of Dams, Federal Register, August 1974, pp. 31334-31346, ignores well-publicized conclusions of a preexisting ASCE task committee and (2) that safety criteria of the proposed guidelines are overly conservative so that, if implemented, unwarranted millions of human welfare dollars will be wasted. Improved criteria are recommended. Enormity of any dam inspection and improvement program is also flagged. Its dollar cost ignores comparison of resulting values with values of other potential programs affecting human welfare. Its huge manpower need in even a drawn-out, 25-year schedule has no ready solution, but improved criteria would inspire maximum effort by civil engineers.

Subject Headings: Dam safety | Inspection | Federal government | Safety | Waste management | Comparative studies | Human factors | Scheduling

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