Piute Dam was constructed by pioneer families in the early 1900s. Earth shells were constructed using horse-drawn fresnos while the interior “impervious core” was “sluiced” into place with a steam-driven pump. Gerhart Cole provided all geotechnical engineering for the remediation project including exploratory work, static and dynamic stability analyses, liquefaction potential analyses, seepage analyses, final design reports, developing design details and specification sections, and field observations during dam rehabilitation. Major design efforts included:
- Stabilizing the upstream slope
- Removing and replacing riprap
- Installing a drain system comprised of a downstream slope drain blanket and downstream toe 33-foot deep bio-polymer (first application of this methodology in Utah) drain trench (providing the bio-polymer drain trench was estimated to save the project $2 million dollars and several months in time)
- Providing the model for fuse-plug spillways
- Installing a sheet pile cutoff downstream of spillway sections
Work was completed during two construction seasons by two different contractors.
The project was recognized by the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) as the National 2005 Remediation Project of the Year.