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HydroCAD Piping Failure and dam breach analysis

HydroCAD Piping Failure and dam breach analysis

Good evening. I am doing a dam breach analysis on a small earthen berm farm pond. Very shallow and very old with a long shallow approach to the weir. The regulator is asking that I model a sunny day breach (as would be typical) by piping failure. I have modeled the breach using 150% of the 100 year rainfall event in HydroCAD and the results is a class A hazard dam. Despite this the regulator still wants to see the sunny day model with piping. Given the scope of the project I would rather not model it with HEC software as I am not really familiar with it. I am competent in HydroCAD. I'm hoping that someone can point in the direction of a method for modeling a piping failure. Thanks!

RE: HydroCAD Piping Failure and dam breach analysis

HydroCAD models a dam breach as a progressive failure of the pond wall, using a trapezoidal weir which increases in size over time. This can be done during a rainfall event, or you can do a "sunny day" breach without any inflow hydrograph by setting the pond's starting water surface elevation and the starting time of the breach. For details please see

Modeling a "piping failure" would be somewhat different. That really isn't a dam breach. If you can explain exactly what you're trying to model perhaps I can be of more assistance.

Peter Smart
HydroCAD Software

RE: HydroCAD Piping Failure and dam breach analysis

Thank you for your prompt response as usual Mr. Smart;

I would like to be able to model a progressive failure which begins with a seepage pipe. Essentially seepage and weeping progressing to a trapezoidal failure from the bottom up.

I hope that made it a bit more clear.

Thanks for your help.

RE: HydroCAD Piping Failure and dam breach analysis

The HydroCAD dam breach procedure is only intended to model a breach that begins at the top of the structure and progresses downward. Please see my previous reference for details.

Peter Smart
HydroCAD Software

RE: HydroCAD Piping Failure and dam breach analysis

Thank you Mr. Smart.

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