Periodic Levee Inspections

Posted on Thursday, August 13th, 2015 by
In Structural, tagged in Tags: , , ,
periodic levee inspections

Periodic levee inspections are critical to maintaining a safe, effective system for flood damage reduction. Over the last five years, we’ve worked on a number of these projects. In fact, we recently completed our fourth task order for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Omaha District as part of our nationwide dam and levee safety inspection indefinite delivery (ID) contract. The scope of work for the fourth task order included performing periodic levee inspections for 13 systems throughout Nebraska and Missouri. This meant we inspected more than 92 miles of earth levees, nearly one mile of floodwalls, 31 miles of channel, 12 pump stations, 410 relief wells, and 72 structures. We also are currently completing periodic inspections for three levee systems for the USACE Kansas City District as part of a civil works planning and design ID contract.

periodic levee inspections

Whether the levee is large or small, there are three key steps that apply to any periodic levee inspection:

  1. The first is data collection. For each levee inspection, we perform a review of existing data on as-built drawings, levee modifications, operation and maintenance, previous inspections, emergency action plans, and flood fighting records.
  2. The next step is to conduct a field inspection. This is similar to the visual inspection for a routine (annual) Inspection, but with additional scrutiny.
  3. The last phase of the periodic inspection work is to provide a final report. The report includes the data collected, field inspection findings, an evaluation of any changes in design criteria from the time the levee was constructed, and additional recommendations as warranted, such as areas that need further evaluation or repair.

In many cases, the results of the periodic inspection will determine if a levee system remains eligible in the PL84-99 program. If the levee system is rated as “unacceptable,” then it may no longer be qualified. This is important because the Federal government will fully fund the repair of damages caused by flood events if they meet certain criteria.

levee inspections

Like any item, levee systems will at some point require maintenance and repair. To be considered for funding, recommendations should be implemented. Affinis can help levee sponsors remain in the PL84-99 program by providing design services and phased implementation programs for the advised repairs. Levee sponsors should also be aware of upcoming policy changes for the PL84-99 program that will affect eligibility requirements. Draft policy rules are anticipated to be published in November 2015.

Let us make your life easier by helping with your periodic levee inspections or levee repair design services. Contact us at

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