Tolt dam monitoring and failure warning system (English)

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The Tolt Dam is part of the Tolt River municipal water supply system for the Metropolitan Seattle Area in the USA. The dam is a zoned earthfill embankment constructed in early 60's. The dam is instrumented with over 90 monitoring devices, including several kinds of piezometers, observation wells, flumes, weirs, floating drain, seismic stations, river gage stations, reservoir level sensor, crest loops, cameras, sirens, survey monuments, and GPS stations. The current monitoring and surveillance program is configured to monitor the dam behavior during normal reservoir operation and seismic events and to provide real time dam failure notification to a community of 2000 residents within the potential inundation zone. The monitoring system has been updated several times since the completion of the dam construction and is now a fully automated, user friendly system utilizing the state-of-art data management equipments compatible with the new SCADA system in the organization. This paper presents the Tolt Dam background information, instrumentation program, including types of installations and levels of monitoring thresholds, performance monitoring based on potential failure modes analysis, and the well known dam failure warning system. Contents include warning system logic, design concept, warning methods, and equipments. The paper also discusses the behaviors of the dam with presentation of selected data.