Tom Brown and Joe Premozic from the Geotechnical Engineering Section traveled to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ East Branch Dam to oversee upgrades to the automated data acquisition system, Nov. 12.
The ADAS is a series of networked sensors with communication links to a central computer. The central computer tracks and stores instrumentation readings taken from within the earthen dam and foundation.
The ADAS was developed for East Branch to monitor conditions, water levels within the dam and seepage flow rates at critical locations. Additionally, it diagnoses potential problems prior to the upcoming cutoff wall construction, assess dam performance and response during construction, and determine the effectiveness of the cutoff wall after construction.
Upgrades were made by URS Corporation, the district’s ADAS consultant, and included installation of cameras at the dam abutments, anti-climbing plates on the communication tower near the concession building, inclinometer survey software, and redundant equipment.
The additional cameras will provide better visual coverage of the work areas on the right and left abutments. The redundant equipment will reduce the time that system components are offline if and when components malfunction.
During the multi-day visit, EC-DG read the existing inclinometers. The inclinometers consist of plastic casing installed within the earthen dam and into the foundation bedrock. The casing is measured periodically using stainless steel-encased sensors that are intended to detect potential deep-seated movements, primarily related to internal erosion, in the dam at the right abutment, the most vulnerable portion of the dam.
U.S. Geological Survey personnel also visited East Branch to install a new pool gage in the intake tower. The gage will serve as the entry point for reservoir level data into the ADAS. URS will integrate the reservoir data into the ADAS in the near future.
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