Watershed Geosynthetics® Breaks Barriers With FEMA Overtopping Protection For Dams

Source: Watershed GeoSynthetics | May 12, 2015

Watershed Geo® has achieved a major breakthrough with innovative technology, HydroTurf® Advanced Revetment System. HydroTurf® was included in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Technical Manual: Overtopping Protection for Dams.

The FEMA National Dam Safety Program (NDSP) sponsored the development of the technical manual, in conjunction with the US Bureau of Reclamation, to collect and disseminate useful and relevant information regarding the design, construction and performance of overtopping protection alternatives for embankment and concrete dams.

“For HydroTurf® to be included in the FEMA Manual is a testament to its hydraulic performance for overtopping applications,” said Brad Cooley, Vice President of Civil Applications at Watershed Geosynthetics.

HydroTurf®, developed by Watershed Geo®, is a unique fiber-reinforced concrete revetment which provides an economical, high-performing solution for the armoring of embankment dams and levees.

In order to be considered for the manual, the hydraulic testing and performance of HydroTurf was reviewed by FEMA representatives. Extensive hydraulic testing was performed at the Engineering Research Center at Colorado State University and included steady state overtopping, levee wave overtopping, hydraulic jump, debris resistance and performance in a damaged state. There are no known reports of other revetment systems having performed at the same level as HydroTurf through such an extensive testing program.

“The performance limits of HydroTurf® were not reached at the maximum capacity of our testing facility. Based on these exceptional results, it made sense to include the HydroTurf® Technology in the FEMA Technical Manual for Overtopping Protection of Dams as an additional tool for the engineer’s toolbox,” Dr. Christopher Thornton, Director of the Hydraulics Laboratory at Colorado State University, stated.

HydroTurf® offers significant benefits over traditional hard armor systems (i.e., articulated concrete blocks, rock riprap, concrete paving or roller compacted concrete). These include exceptional hydraulic performance,the reduction of up-front construction costs and the aesthetic appeal of vegetation with minimal maintenance. Also, HydroTurf® is a more sustainable solution in that it has a pointedly lower carbon footprint than traditional hard armor systems.

Learn more about HydroTurf®