Rehabilitation of a Toe Drain

by Robert L. Dewey, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Boise, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Geotechnical Practice in Dam Rehabilitation


Old or improperly designed toe drains can cause trouble for embankment dams. Toe drains installed without proper filtering can provide an easy course for internal erosion and piping of foundation and/or embankment soil materials. Depending on location, a toe drain can be very difficult to access or unwise to abandon. The best solution for some systems is to attempt inplace rehabilitation. Other methods not as desirable as inplace rehabilitation are also presented to solve a toe drain problem. A rehabilitation is expected to eliminate the problem of piping foundation materials through the drain, yet maintain the capability of the toe drain to drain water and relieve foundation pore water pressures.

Subject Headings: Drainage | Rehabilitation | Water pressure | Embankment dams | Piping erosion | Dam foundations | Foundation design | Pore water

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