Canadian Consulting Engineer

Engineers required to review Quebec dams

Consulting engineers in Quebec who are involved with dam design and construction should be aware that a new Dam Saf...

April 25, 2002   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Consulting engineers in Quebec who are involved with dam design and construction should be aware that a new Dam Safety Act came into effect last week.

The new regulation affects two types of dams — high capacity and low capacity. High-capacity dams are defined as: those with a height of 1 metre or more and an impounding capacity greater than 1 million cubic metres; those with a height of 2.5 metres or more and an impounding capacity greater than 30,000 cubic metres; those 7.5 metres or more in height regardless of impounding capacity.

The Act requires that any dam of one metre or more in height must be registered by the owner. Hoever, most of the new regulations apply to owners of high-capacity dams. They are required to regularly maintain the facilities in good repair and to monitor their works. If the dam may endanger people’s lives, the owner must prepare an emergency action plan in collaboration with the municipality or regional municipality.

Owners of high-capacity dams are also required to have their dams undergo a safety review by an engineer to verify their exact condition and decide, where applicable, what remedial measures must be taken. The owners have three to 10 years to have the safety review carried out, depending on how dire the consequences of failure would be.


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