Contraction Joint Leak Repairs - A Multi-Agency Collaboration Effort

Project ID: 7139
Principal Investigator: David Starbuck
Research Topic: Repair and Maintenance
Funded Fiscal Years: 2017 and 2018
Keywords: None

Research Question

Are lower cost, effective methods available to repair leaking contraction joints in dams?

Need and Benefit

Leaking contraction joints have been an issue since the early days of building large concrete dams. Some leakage is anticipated in the design and drainage systems are included to handle those leaks. Unfortunately, either through material failures and/or construction defects, leaks can get worse over time, leading to significant water flows that can damage equipment, overwhelm the drainage systems, and lead to safety issues.
Reclamation and COE have several structures where repairing these leaks is very important. Methods to perform these repairs have mixed performance records and are typically very expensive (several million dollars per structure). Finding other methods to effectively seal these leaks using less expensive means would save both agencies money and water. By conducting the proposed collaboration, we can leverage our knowledge and experience with theirs to develop better repair solutions.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Contraction Joint Leak Repairs - A Multi-Agency Collaboration Effort (final, PDF, 4.2MB)
By David W. Starbuck
Research Product completed on September 30, 2018

This research product summarizes the research results and potential application to Reclamation's mission.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20