For water management systems that employ an embankment dam, there is no more important task to prolong the health of your dam and your reservoir than measuring dam seepage. Whether you measure seepage with a flume or with a weir, periodic measurement can help you to know that your dam is still functioning correctly and that no problems are building behind the scenes.
However, if you’re not familiar with dam or dam seepage, then you might be wondering how often you should measure the seepage in your system. Here are some tips for keeping a dam seepage measuring schedule and advice for purchasing your measurement tool, whether a flume or weir.
Measuring During and After Construction
Although many people don’t realize it, measuring dam seepage should begin immediately after your dam is construction. Because construction errors are a fact of life, measuring dam seepage after construction is a useful way to check for errors and to make sure that your dam is ready for usage.
While your dam is being constructed, you should make sure to measure dam seepage monthly. Also, once construction has been completed, continue your monthly measurements, weather permitting, to make sure no problems have developed.
Pay Close Attention After Filling
Perhaps the most important time to monitor your dam seepage is after the first time you fill your reservoir. When your reservoir is completely filled, you will be better able to notice problems with your dam by measuring your seepage amount.
Dam seepage measuring will occur much more frequently after initially filling your reservoir. You should make sure to measure your dam seepage three times a week until your reservoir is completely full. While checking this often may seem cumbersome, it is crucial in helping you detect possible problems with your dam that will need to be corrected before regular usage.
Regular Measuring Schedule
During your dam’s first year of usage, you should measure seepage one time a month. After the first year of usage, you will continue your monthly checks unless there is a problem with your dam or reservoir. Monthly readings should allow you to ensure that your dam is working the way it should and will help you catch small problems before they get out of hand.
While many water systems that need to measure dam seepage will use tools that continuously monitor dam seepage rates, it’s important that you make sure to occasionally have one of your operators perform a visual inspection. Combining visual inspection and instrumentation readings will give you a more accurate idea of how your dam is operation.
Also, if you use a thin plate weir to measure your dam seepage, you will need to be sure to maintain the weir crest. If the crest is damaged or blocked, you won’t get accurate seepage readings.
Keep Your Dam Seepage Measuring Schedule with the Right Tools
To successfully keep your dam seepage measuring schedule, you need to make sure you have access to the right measurement tools, which is why you need to browse the Tracom, FRP product catalogue.
Tracom produces every tool that you need to measure dam seepage, including flumes and weirs, and we can help make sure your dam is working the way it should. Contact us today to learn more about our inventory.