The first half presents a description of three significant projects that were important in my early development and maturing as a dam engineer, drawing out some of the lessons I have leaned on through the rest of my career. These projects presented a wide variety of challenges and comprised: a 15m high earthfill embankment on very soft alluvial foundations in Malaysia with gated flood control and service spillways; a 65m high earthfill embankment in Kenya constructed with halloysitic soil and founded on a variable sequence of volcanic strata derived from several eruptions; and an 80m high concrete face rockfill dam in Cyprus founded on pillow lavas.
The second half considers the UK approach to the inspection of existing reservoirs. It starts with a reminder of what is set out in the Reservoirs Act 1975 (and its subsequent amendments), noting how this relates to its predecessor the Reservoirs (Safety Provisions) Act 1930, then looks at the differences in the Reservoirs (Scotland) Act 2011 and thirdly compares this with Australian practice. Observations on changes that have taken place in the reporting of inspections over time will be presented, followed by thoughts on a short survey of current practice with regard to the technical content of inspection reports. It will conclude with thoughts on where we can make further improvements in the approach to reservoir inspections that will assist future Inspecting Engineers.
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