The increase of occurrence and intensity of extreme flooding shows the need for effective and sustainable levee design. Recent research is revealing the cumulative damage of flooding on the nation’s aging earthen levee systems.
Traditional levee inspections are based on visible signs of distress. The problem is damage accumulates over time and can be internal or invisible when only surface inspections are conducted.
An article in Science Daily explains, “Levees are earth embankments that protect against flooding — and there are a lot of them. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, there are 45,703 levee structures in the United States, stretching for 27,881 miles. On average, they’re 56 years old.”
The article goes on to summarize the research findings on levee damage, “repeated flooding events have a cumulative effect on the structural integrity of earthen levees, suggesting that the increase in extreme weather events associated with climate change could pose significant challenges for the nation’s aging levee system.”
The results of studies like this help researchers develop better tools and practices that result in more accurate analysis of potential damage. Research results can also help engineers adjust for potential risks when creating a new levee design.
Communities need to act before it is too late or cost prohibitive to repair infrastructure. OEI recognizes the problem of limited resources but also the need for communities to prioritize rehabilitation. For more than 30 years OEI has provided levee and dam safety services.
OEI’s experience allows us to quickly identify signs of potential critical failure and create innovative rehabilitation plans. This work also includes knowing our clients’ needs–whether they own a dam or levee on a private, municipal, state, or federal level. OEI will work within budget and timeline parameters to create the best levee design for each unique location.Contact us today to find out how we can help analyze and create a rehabilitation plan to avoid accumulating damage and keep your dam or levee functioning so it can continue to serve your water infrastructure safely and effectively.