Testing Outlet Works Gates and Valves at USBR Dams Under Unbalanced-Head Conditions: Tieton Dam Unbalanced-Head Gate Test

by Ronald Arrington, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Boise, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Management of Irrigation and Drainage Systems: Integrated Perspectives


The Tieton Dam outlet works installation geometry is the most common type used in U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) earthfill dams. An emergency guard gate is located in a gate chamber at the axis of the dam. Regulating gates, located in a control house at the toe of the dam, are connected to the emergency gate by free standing steel conduits located in a tunnel. This type of outlet works presents unique problems during an unbalanced-head gate test. One must be concerned not only with the ability of the gate to operate under unbalanced head, but also with providing adequate air venting in the system to prevent negative pressures and possible collapse of the outlet conduit downstream of the guard gate. This paper will discuss the special procedures required in conducting emergency closure tests for gates with the above-type geometry. Procedures for determining the adequacy of air vents are discussed, along with problems encountered in testing the gates at Tieton and at other dams with gates of similar geometry.

Subject Headings: Gates (hydraulic) | Valves | Dams | Emergency management | Geometrics | Earth fills | Earthfill dams | Conduits

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