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Spillway Calculation

Spillway Calculation

Spillway Calculation


I am going to build a dam on my property. The dam will be located on a small creek bead. The creek bead is dry in the summer but in the winter it can flow a fair amount of water. When the dam is complete the resivor will be aprox 4 acres. The dam will be over 20'tall and 300' across . My question is how do I go about calculating the size for an emergncy spillway to be large enough to handle the largest storm the resivor could encounter.

RE: Spillway Calculation

Weir capacity is the easy part: Capacity = Cw * base width * water head^1.5

Cw varies with head and breadth of spillway.

Per the NRCS Engineering Field Manual, Chapter 11, For Grass-lined BC Weir: Cw for grass at 10-15 feet broad is 1.99 at 0.5 feet or less, to 2.8 at 2.4 feet.  

Cw for paved weirs can go to 3.33 over a broad-crest shape and 3.97 over an ogee shape; but find a reference to cite if you want to use anything over 3.1.  3.1 is fairly conservative and should be universally acceptable.

NOW for the hard part...make sure you have good (and extensive) hydrology for the flow you will be conveying.  You are far more likely to get the inflow hydrology wrong than the weir flow calc.  But the Army Corp will require a dam of this size to have H&H sealed and submitted by a P.E., so the hydrology will be covered with his or her seal.

RE: Spillway Calculation

contact your state department of water resources first and talk with the state dam safety engineer.  this agency may require a permit for your dam and either way, they can help you with the design requirements.  they may also recommend a qualified dam engineer to design it.  try the following website:  http://www.damsafety.org/

RE: Spillway Calculation

At 80 acre-feet of storage and 20 ft. height, you are definately geeting into more than the typical farm pond.  You need someone experience in dam design to help you out. You will probably also be getting into permitting issues, so the agency will probably require a P.E. certification.

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