Printed in Geotechnical News, Volume 32, Number 4, December 2014.

A note on Review Engineer assignment for dam safety review in British Columbia

Ali Ameli, PhD, PEng, PE - Geo Engineering Ltd. BC, Canada

In British Columbia (BC), Dam Safety Review studies are based on the “Health, Safety and Reclamation Code of Mines” (2008) for mining dams and the “BC Dam Safety Regulation” (2011) for dams regulated under Water Act. The studies generally refer to Dam Safety Guidelines of Canadian Dam Association (CDA) as well as provincial guidelines including BC Dam Safety Review Guidelines (2012) and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC) Professional Practice Guidelines (2013). CDA and AEGBC Guidelines were recently updated to include items specific to mining dams.

Dams are primarily classified based on consequence of failure in terms of the risks to people, property, infrastructure, cultural values and the environment. These criteria are of public interest and thus the safety of dams would be a concern for regulatory authorities.

The dams are classified as low, significant, high, very high or extreme failure consequence. The recommended minimum frequency of dam safety activities is dictated by the dam classification. Among these activities are Dam Safety Inspection (DSI), often called Annual Inspection or Annual Review, and Dam Safety Review (DSR). The frequencies of dam safety activities are depicted in the following table ...

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