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Dam Safety

All of Tacoma Power's dams were engineered and built with a commitment to strength and safety. Assuring dam safety is one of the highest priorities of Tacoma Power and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Our dams continuously demonstrate high performance in meeting FERC's stringent requirements.

To maintain the highest safety standards, we:

  • Use special equipment in and near the dams to monitor for any changes or movement
  • Inspect each dam every working day
  • Perform more detailed mechanical, electrical and facility inspections weekly and monthly
  • Employ security personnel to inspect the dams and embankments daily during weekends and holidays

Survey crews and site personnel take readings of control points, drainage weirs and other instrumentation devices on schedules that vary from a couple weeks to semi-annually. Plots of these readings are prepared for review by Tacoma Power's dam safety engineers.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) conducts annual inspections with Tacoma Power engineers and reviews dam safety records. In addition, independent engineering specialists conduct a thorough examination of the dams every five years. During this review, which takes approximately one year to complete, a thorough examination of all previous structural, hydraulic and geotechnical studies is made to ensure compliance with current standards.