Diversion Facility Failure

Client: URS Corporation

A diversion facility in Northern California was constructed to provide treated river water for irrigation, significantly reducing the need to pump groundwater except in periods of extremely high demand. The diversion facility comprised a removable dam with two main sections: a regulating weir with one flow control gate, and the main dam section with 8 gates that are raised and lowered with inflatable bladders

WRE’s Principal Engineer was retained by the attorney representing the company that designed the diversion facility. The designer was sued by the project owner after a partial failure that required expensive repairs.

WRE determined that the partial failure was caused by operator error and not by design flaws. The court ruled in favor of the design firm.