Evaluating Methods to Seal Leaking Contraction Joints in Dams
What are effective methods to seal leaking contraction joints in dams without affecting the stability of the structure?
A scoping study was performed in 2014 and a promising method using small hydrophilic polyurethane chips was used. This method was tested at Grand Coulee Dam in Washington with good initial results.
This proposal is going to research the hydrophilic chips method further. It will look to improve the compositions of the chips, the delivery method and other factors.
Need and Benefit
All concrete dams have joints, cracks, and seams which can develop leaks. Contraction joints in concrete dams have waterstops to prevent water leaking from the reservoir into the joint. Over time, the waterstops can begin to leak.
These leaks can be quite large and cause many problems within the dam and can lead to millions of dollars of increased maintenance costs across numerous facilities, since they corrode metalwork, increase operating costs through increased pumping to remove excess water, reduce worker productivity as they work around the leaks, etc.
Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.
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.
Evaluating Methods to Seal Leaking Contraction Joints in Dams (final, PDF, 6.9MB)
By David Starbuck
Publication completed on September 30, 2016