Folsom Dam Auxiliary Spillway

Dam Monitoring

California, CA

As part of construction of the Folsom Dam Auxiliary Spillway being performed by Kiewit, Terracon engineers were hired to perform testing all of the major systems in the structure, ensuring that the facility operates as intended in the design. These tests include the operating and releasing of water from all six new auxiliary spillway radial gates.

Geotechnical monitoring was implemented throughout the structure as a critical component of these tests including vibrating wire piezometers to measure groundwater pore pressure adjacent to the spillway.

Specifically, the delivered solution integrates 554 vibrating wire piezometers and MUX’s from Geokon, 22 high frequency pressure transducers, and a Vaisala weather station. sensemetrics’ edge computing and software monitoring platform was selected for data monitoring in order to view near real-time data in a single, standardized interface. The system allows for real-time barometric pressure compensation of piezometer data. sensemetrics’ interface allows for both automated readings of the sensors, and provides a connection for a manual readout device. This enables onsite technicians to take spot measurements to confirm the accuracy and proper operation of the sensors.

Near Real Time Data Monitoring

All data is aggregated into an onsite sensemetrics Enterprise server. As such, The Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel can actively monitor sensor data during spill events. Later, personnel are able to download sensor data from any time range, in industry standard CSV and XLS formats, for distribution to offsite review and records storage.

Ultimately, the new spillway will better manage large floods by safely releasing more water from Folsom Reservoir earlier during a storm through both the spillway gates on Folsom Dam and the spillway’s radial gates, reducing hydrologic risk and leaving more storage capacity in the reservoir.

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