Category Archives: Civil Engineering

January Deadline for New Dam Safety Regulations

Owners of California dams classified as “extremely high hazard” need to submit updated Emergency Action Plans (EAP) to the state by January 1, 2018 under new dam safety regulations the state legislature passed earlier this year in response to the Oroville Dam spillway crisis. The looming EAP deadline is complicated by the new law’s requirement

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Advanced Modeling Identifies Storm Drain Solutions

Cities in the Coachella Valley have a history of dealing with damaging summer flash floods. Intense thunderstorms can dump several inches of rain in a short time while runoff rushes from the nearby San Jacinto Mountains into the lowland flats where the cities are built. The City of La Quinta suffered back-to-back damaging summer storms

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Developing Bid Documents for CIPP Sewer Rehab

Many cities whose sewer systems were constructed in the first half of the 20th century are plagued by sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) due to long-neglected root intrusion and pipe defects. To combat this, sewers can be rehabilitated using trenchless cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) lining. This method can fully rehabilitate aging pipes at least three times faster and

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Do You Know the Difference Between Hydrology and Hydraulics?

Water is Earth’s most critical fluid in environmental processes and human life. When discussing stormwater management it is important to make the distinction between hydrology and hydraulics. Some aspects of hydrology involve hydraulics but, in general, the two are very different. Here’s how to understand these differences. Hydrology is defined as the circulation of water

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Will Your Flood Control System Work in a 100-Year Event?

Many California counties use the 100-year storm as the design storm for regional flood control facilities and stormwater related capital improvements. However new data show that storm will be more intense than previously thought. Prior to 2013, storm intensities and volumes corresponding to certain size storm events (2-year, 5-year, 10-year, 25-year, 50-year, 100-year) were categorized

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How to Fortify Your Property to Avoid Winter Storm Damage

California’s 4-year drought may have further exacerbated rain- and drainage-related issues such as shrinking wood structures creating leak points; vegetation, debris, or sediment build-up that impedes drainage; and unnoticeable changes in upstream drainage patterns that may have downstream impacts. To protect property and structures from costly erosion and water damage anticipated due to El Niño’s

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Repurposing Flood Control Infrastructure to Leverage Stormwater Resources

Combining the drought and evidence of a “Godzilla” El Niño event likely this winter, stormwater is increasingly valued as an asset worth integrating into California’s overall water management strategy. Re-thinking how to leverage stormwater resources opens up opportunities for repurposing infrastructure designed and built to dispose of flood waters. More than one in five Californians—7

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Selecting Numerical Modeling Alternatives for Water Projects

A summary and guide for regulatory, development and environmental stakeholders. Consulting engineers and environmental scientists are frequently asked what type of modeling is required to achieve a project’s goals from a regulatory, design or habitat standpoint. The answer is integrally tied to the project setting as well as the project’s objectives. This article explores some

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