Thinking About Dams << UPDATE! Calif. Dam has FAILED

In the previous post COMMENTS we were talking about the big dam fail in California.

From Mining Awareness

FICTION “The Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for most dams in the U.S.”

FACT State dam safety programs have oversight of most dams in the United States. State agencies regulate more than 80% of the Nation’s dams.

FICTION “Dams are like roads and bridges. The government takes care of them.”

FACT –  Most dams are privately owned. Dam owners are responsible for maintenance and upgrades. Private dam owners are responsible for more than 65% of the Nation’s dams. Many lack the financial resources necessary for adequate dam maintenance.

FICTION –  “There are only a few dams in my State.”

FACT –  There are more than 84,000 dams in the United States (as of 2010). Most States are home to hundreds—or thousands—of dams, and each must meet regulatory criteria. • Texas has the most dams—more than 7,000—followed by Kansas (6,087), Missouri (5,099), Oklahoma (4,755), and Georgia (4,606). • Mississippi, North Carolina, and Iowa each have more than 3,000 dams. • Five States—Alabama, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, and South Dakota—each have more than 2,000 dams. • Fifteen other States have more than 1,000 dams each. • Delaware has the fewest number of dams, with 86.

FICTION “That dam has been here for years—it’s not going anywhere.”

FACT –  Advancing age can make dams more susceptible to failure. The average age of dams in the United States is more than 53 years. As dams get older, deterioration increases and repair costs rise. Some common problems of older dams are: • Deteriorating metal pipes and structural components; metal rusts over time, and after 50 years it can fail completely. • Sediment-filled reservoirs. Some sediment may have contaminants from chemicals in runoff from upstream. • Runoff from subdivisions and businesses built upstream. Roofs and concrete streets and sidewalks increase the volume of runoff to the reservoir.

= = = = SUNDAY NIGHT NEWS = = = =


Evacuations ordered below Oroville Dam; failure of emergency spillway ‘expected’