Corps Releases Inspection Rating for Salt Lake County Levee Systems (USA)

Federally-required inspections by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District have shown a need for Salt Lake County, Utah, to address important maintenance issues of the levee systems along the 12-mile Surplus Canal. The canal, which was upgraded by the Corps in 1960, drains Jordan River water into the Great Salt Lake.

The Sacramento District conducted periodic inspections of the left and right bank Surplus Canal levee systems during May 2012. It resulted in a maintenance rating of “unacceptable.” The most serious deficiencies indentified throughout the systems were encroachments and levee depressions. Unacceptable vegetation was also noted during inspections but did not result in an overall unacceptable inspection rating.

Salt Lake County Department of Public Works officials—who maintain the levee systems—attended the inspections and received a draft report of the findings for review and comment in September 2012. The final report was completed in September 2013.

“Levee inspections are all about making sure that a levee can reliably do what we expect it to,” said Ryan Larson, Sacramento District acting levee safety program manager. “Our findings help the agencies that own and maintain these levees prioritize levee fixes—and help the public understand their flood risk and make informed decisions about protecting their property.”

Under federal rules, systems rated unacceptable are ineligible for federal aid in repairing any flood or storm damage to the levees until the deficiencies are corrected. Inspection results are provided to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but do not necessarily affect determinations of eligibility for the National Flood Insurance Program. The Corps will continue to provide flood fighting assistance for the levee systems, regardless of their status.

County Public Works Director Russ Wall notes that the county has a long and productive working relationship with the Army Corps of Engineers regarding the Surplus Canal and other projects.

We take very seriously our responsibility to maintain and properly operate flood control facilities that provide protection to Salt Lake County property owners,” said Wall. “In fact, county crews have already begun rectifying many of the identified deficiencies—completing work on 55 sites to date.”

Wall says that in response to the latest inspection report, the county has begun an aggressive program to correct deficiencies and come into compliance. As part of this effort, the county has hired an engineering consultant to evaluate the structural and hydraulic performance of the system. Additionally, the county has been involved in a thorough investigation of the actual right-of-way of the canal to better identify where encroachments exist.

Funding requests are included in the county’s 2014 budget to continue the repairs. In addition, Salt Lake County will be applying for a system-wide improvement framework agreement with the Corps, which would allow the levees to remain eligible for federal aid in repairing flood or storm damage while the deficiencies are being corrected.

Flood Control Director Scott Baird said that property owners who live next to the Surplus Canal or other flood control facilities should be aware that a flood control permit is required from Salt Lake County prior to doing any work that encroaches on any channel or embankment that is part of the system. Failure to obtain the proper permits may result in civil or criminal penalties and could possibly result in structural damage that could affect lives and property.

Press Release, November 4, 2013

 

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3rd International Congress Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging

Russia’s leading maritime industry Media Group PortNews (www.portnews.ru) holds a traditional annual Congress “Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging” in Moscow. 

The two-day Congress includes the 7th International Forum of Dredging Companies and the 3rd Technical Conference “Modern Solutions for Hydraulic Engineering”.

Infrastructure development is among the real sources of Russia’s economy growth. Construction of port facilities and new hydraulic engineering structures on the country’s inland waterways constitute an essential part of all infrastructure projects. It is important to take into account the best international practices to implement these projects effectively.

The program of the Congress will be devoted to the latest technologies for dredging and hydraulic engineering works. Speakers and delegates will refer to real projects to discuss specifics features of dredging works, as well as dedicated fleet and equipment involved.

To learn more about event, please, contact the organizing committee: snitko@portnews.ru

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