June 16, 2002
June 16, 2002
June 19, 2002
7.22.1 - 7.22.12
Main Menu Session 2651
A Community-Based Hydrologic Design Project
Joseph Orlins, Ph.D., P.E. Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ Kim Groff, Ph.D. Earth Solve, Inc., Acton, MA Paul Greger, P.E., P.P. Greger Consultants, LLC, Glassboro, NJ R. Wayne Groff Pitman, NJ
There are numerous small dams in southern New Jersey in need of rehabilitation. Many of these dams were built in the early part of the 20 th century either as roadways across streams or to provide power for local mills, but are currently used only for recreational purposes. When the dams were originally built, they generally had adequate protection regarding flood conditions. However, development in the region has changed the hydrologic conditions upstream of many of these dams significantly. The existing spillways at virtually all of these dams were designed for pre-development flows; with the excess flow brought by development, spillway modifications must be made to increase capacity and maintain dam safety.
The State of New Jersey requires that deficient dams be improved and maintained or removed, to promote public safety. Public entities such as counties and municipalities are generally eligible for State grants to pay for dam safety evaluations and repairs. However, privately owned dams are not eligible for grants. For dams owned by an individual, the costs associated with engineering investigations and dam rehabilitation are often prohibitively expensive. As a result, repairs are often deferred. When repairs are not made in a timely manner, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection Dam Safety Section must take legal action against the dam owner to ensure that public safety is upheld.
To help overcome the financial burden of the engineering analyses associated with dam rehabilitation, a unique partnership has been developed between the owner of a private dam, Rowan University, and the local engineering community. Third-year Civil and Environmental Engineering students have been working with a faculty member to conduct hydraulic and hydrologic analyses and flood inundation mapping, as part of the Engineering Clinic program at Rowan. The results of this project are being evaluated by a team of external practicing engineers, and then submitted to the NJ State Dam Safety Section.
Involving students in all aspects of the dam evaluation introduces many concepts not included in traditional classroom instruction, such as the ecological benefits (and detriments) of small dams. In addition, students are exposed to the socio-economic and political realities that engineers must contend with in professional practice. Thus, having students work on a real-world analysis and design project provides an all-around win-win situation: Students work on a unique educational opportunity; the dam owner receives valuable services; State regulators are satisfied; and public safety is upheld. This paper will discuss the process, successes, and failures of the initial partnership effort.
Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education
Groff, W., & Greger, P., & Groff, K., & Orlins, J. (2002, June), A Community Based Hydrologic Design Project Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. https://peer.asee.org/10780
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