|Outlet pipe broken and submerged|
at Newcastle Railroad Embankment Dam
The funds are part of a new grant program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA had $10 million to provide assistance for planning and other pre-construction activities such as data collection, design and permitting. We applied for funds to assist three dam owners, and two of these were accepted.
The funds will be split evenly between the city of Aberdeen to work on slope stability issues at their Fairview Reservoir #1 and the city of Newcastle to stabilize and remove the Newcastle Railroad Embankment Dam. For the next year, both owners will use dam engineer consultants to collect and analyze data and develop solutions and designs.
“Through our inspection program, we identified both of these projects as being in poor condition and needing engineer assessments and repairs,” said Joe Witczak, Ecology’s Dam Safety Office manager. “This is the first year this grant funding was available and we intend to apply again next year in support of other high hazard dams in need of repair.”
|Ecology dam safety inspectors at Fairview Reservoir #1|
In Washington, a dam owner (such as private, local government or public utilities) is legally responsible to safely maintain, repair and operate their dam. The Dam Safety Office helps to ensure dams are properly designed and constructed. We also inspect existing dams for proper operation and maintenance.
There are an additional 134 dams in the state that are owned and/or regulated by federal agencies.
By Keeley Belva, Water Resources Program communications manager