$70 Million for Dam Inspection

by Michael J. Bartos, Jr., (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Editor; CIVIL ENGINEERING—ASCE, New York, N.Y.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1978, Vol. 48, Issue 3, Pg. 64-68

Document Type: Feature article


In 1972, Congress passed the National Dam Inspection Act, requiring the U.S. Corps of Engineers to inspect and inventory all dams in the United States; but few dams were inspected. Then in 1976, the Teton Dam in Idaho failed, and the Federal government began a three-phase study of Federal dam safety. More recently, Toccoa Falls Dam in Georgia failed, prompting Congress to appropriate $15,000,000 for the inspection of 1800 non-Federal dams by October, 1978. The inspections are part of a four-year, $70,000,000 program managed by the Corps to inspect 9000 non-Federal dams. The dams to be inspected were selected because their failures would cause many casualties and/or extensive property damage. For dam safety to become a reality, however, the inspections must be followed by repairs or modifications to dams found deficient.

Subject Headings: Dam failures | Federal government | Dams | Inspection | Dam safety | Inventories | Developing countries | Failure analysis | United States | Idaho | Georgia

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