The objective of dam monitoring is to prevent long-term dam deterioration and to ensure dam safety. The Swiss concept for monitoring dams provides for 4 levels of monitoring.
We ensure the first two levels thanks to our on-site dam operators and our specialised engineers.
Level 1 monitoring is carried out directly by the dam operators, who are the first to be able to detect anomalies through their excellent knowledge of the structure and their inspection device. Level 2 monitoring is carried out by our engineers, who evaluate the dam operators' measurements, and carry out analyses of the condition of the structure and its behaviour over the course of one year. Level 3 is ensured by an external expert, and level 4 by the Confederation (SFOE).
For level 1 monitoring, the dam operator must inspect the dam and its surroundings in detail at least once a month. The measurements made by the dam operator are numerous and varied, including for example :
- Upstream-downstream and left-right bank movements, using direct or inverted pendulums compression and lifting, by means of rock meters
- pressures and underpressures using manometers
- infiltration flows, by means of volumetric gauges
- opening of joints and cracks with a joint meter
- temperatures of the concrete, using an electric thermometer.
In addition, the dam operator tests the operation of the drain valves by releasing water annually. For level 2, the experienced professional's tasks include the following:
- ongoing interpretation of auscultation measurements,
- drafting an annual report with the measurements and their interpretation,
- annual inspection of the structure (visual inspection) and its surroundings,
- organising and following up on the operating tests on the drain valves,
- keeping the documentation related to the work up to date,
- management of any sanitation, maintenance or renewal work on certain parts of the dam structure and dam instrumentation.
The owner benefits from a precise analysis of the state of the dam. All these measurements contribute to guaranteeing the safety of the structure by making quick intervention possible in the event of any anomalies.