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Technical Service Center, Geotechnical Services

Instrumentation and Inspections Group

Rick Kelsic, Manager, <RKelsic@usbr.gov>, 303-445-3059
Building 67, 86-68360
Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225-0007

We provide a wide range of instrumentation and inspection related services for dams and other facilities.

Instrumentation services

The group’s engineers and technicians have extensive experience in designing, installing, and monitoring over 70 types of instruments used to provide information in categories such as water pressure, earth/total pressure and load, deformations (internal and surface), temperature, and seepage quantity and quality. The group also has expertise developing monitoring systems for special purposes and unique applications.

Routine dam performance monitoring:

  • Reviewing data for validity and performance anomalies
  • Maintaining a database of visual and instrumental monitoring information
  • Reporting and presenting routine data results

Periodic in-depth analyses of monitoring results, including dam safety analyses:

  • Participating in the failure mode analysis/performance parameter process
  • Participating in comprehensive facility reviews

Instrumentation design:

  • Determining the type, number, location, and reading frequency of instruments required
  • Preparing drawings and specifications for procuring, installing, maintaining, and repairing instrumentation systems
  • Designing automated data collection and transmission systems for both short and long term monitoring

Field assistance:

  • Instrument systems calibration, installation, and inspection
  • Lab facilities for instrument repair, testing, calibration, and assembly
  • Troubleshooting and consulting on special problems
  • Providing training on instrumentation matters

Inspection services

The group includes a cadre of registered professional engineers who:

  • Coordinate and perform dam safety and O&M inspections, both for Reclamation dams (under the Comprehensive Facility Review Program) and for other agency dams upon request.
  • Participate in transfer inspections of facilities from construction to O&M status.
  • Perform preliminary hazard classifications and hazard reassessments of low and significant hazard dams.
  • Provide technical advice and assistance on O&M items.
  • Update the technical priority ratings of all Department of the Interior dams.

The group provides training on dam safety, O&M, and emergency management subjects to Reclamation staff and others, upon request, including:

  • Safety Evaluation of Existing Dams seminars for Federal, State, and private personnel and for international personnel.
  • Onsite O&M training for dam tenders, operating personnel, and water systems managers.
  • Client-tailored onsite dam safety and emergency management training programs domestically and abroad.

The group also provides data and document management services, including:

  • Maintenance of the Dam Safety Information System (DSIS) and the Dam Safety Document Management System (DSDaMS) databases.
  • Maintenance and updating of the official record copies of Standing Operating Procedures and Designers Operating Criteria.
  • Development and maintenance of O&M technical standards, bulletins, and guidelines.
  • Maintenance of other dam safety and O&M files and databases of information, including landslide surveillance data and O&M cost trends.

Last updated 10-23-14 (by tsp).