Findings of the Oroville Dam Spillway Forensic Investigation






At a height of 770 feet, Oroville Dam is the tallest dam in the United States. On February 7, 2017, a section of the concrete chute slab of the service spillway at Oroville Dam failed during spillway discharge. Several days later, as the California Department of Water Resources was evaluating and managing discharges through the damaged service spillway during a large rainfall event, the emergency spillway activated for the first time in the projects’s history. The emergency spillway flow resulted in significant erosion of the hillside below the crest structure, leading to concern for the integrity of the emergency spillway and the evacuation of nearly 190,000 downstream residents. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission mandated a forensic evaluation of the failure of the service spillway chute and the damage to emergency spillway. This webinar will present the findings of the six-person Independent Forensic Team, including discussions of physical factors, human / organization factors, and lessons to be learned from the incident. Ample time will be allowed for questions from attendees.

5 takeaways attendees can expect from this webinar: 

  • An understanding of the design, construction, and performance of the Oroville Dam spillways.
  • An understanding of the physical factors that contributed to the spillway damage.
  • An understanding of how human and organizational factors contributed to the damage.
  • An understanding of the value and limitations of physical inspection with respect to dam safety.
  • Lessons to be learned from this incident for improving dam safety practice.

Registration Fees: 

  • ASDSO Members $99
  • Non-Members $130

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