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TransAlta Centralia Mine Dam Safety Management System Improvements

Modernizing dam safety inspections for our Mining clients

  • Centralia, Washington

    Centralia, Washington

Increasing confidence in data integrity and spatial context of dam inspection observations and instrumentation monitoring results

Stantec became the Engineer of Record (EoR) for six high hazard dams at the TransAlta Centralia Mine (TCM) site in 2020. The flow of data and observations from the field to the office is integral to the success of a dam safety management program, and this need is further heightened when we assume an EoR role.

Our team sought to improve TCM dam safety management systems by implementing a digital method for collecting field data. We used a geographic information system (GIS) based collection system to store and manage the data, but the digital inspection forms were initially too rigid to be useful. We used the forms in a site visit to document shortcomings, after which the system was completely overhauled. In addition, dam safety review (DSR) inspections have been modernized into a digital workflow. Various alerts are built into the system and help with immediate response to avoid site emergencies which could pose environmental risks to neighboring communities.

The client and EoR team now have a complete digital workflow to collect, review, and monitor site data in a near real-time fashion. Work completed on this project has also led to similar solutions being developed for other Mining clients to support both dam safety inspections and construction quality assurance workflows.

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