Filters and Drainage Systems for Embankment Dams: On-Demand

This webinar will review the design and construction of filters and drains for embankment dams. Specific topics covered will include 1) principles of filters and drains, 2) locations and configurations of filters and drains in embankment dams (for both new dams and dam rehabilitations), 3) design guidelines for filters and drains, 4) evaluations of filters and drains in existing embankment dams, and 5) practical considerations for design and construction of filters and drains.

Five Learning Objectives of This Course:

• Understanding the principles of soil filters.

• Understanding the different functions of filters and drains.

• Understanding modern filter design criteria.

• Understanding how do evaluate effectiveness of filters in existing embankment dams.

• Understanding how include practical considerations in design and specification of filters and drains.

John W. France, P.E., D.GE, D.WRE

President, JWF Consulting, LLC

JWF Consulting, LLC.

John W. France, P.E., D.GE, D.WRE is a registered professional engineer and Diplomate, Geotechnical Engineering and Water Resources Engineer, who is currently practicing as an independent consultant. He received his BS degree in civil engineering from Cornell University in 1973 and received an MS degree in geotechnical engineering from the same institution in 1976. Mr. France has over 45 years of consulting engineering experience, during which time he has been responsible for the analysis, design, and construction of embankment and roller compacted concrete dams and their appurtenant structures. He has served on senior technical review boards and panels for dam safety projects for the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; BC Hydro and Brookfield Renewable Energy. Mr. France has been a consultant to the dam safety programs of the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for over 30 years. He has served on Independent Review Panels, who have conducted annual review of Reclamation’s dam safety program, and he served on similar review panels for the dam safety programs of the National Park Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Mr. France was the team leader for the Independent Forensic Teams tasked with investigating the 2017 Oroville Dam spillway incident and the 2020 failures of Edenville and Sanford Dams, and he chaired a five-person team for a review of the dam safety risk analysis practices of the Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Jennifer L. Williams, P.E.

Senior Geotechnical Engineer, AECOM

Jennifer Williams is a registered professional engineer with over 20 years of experience specializing in geotechnical design and analyses of earth dams. Ms. Williams is currently one of the managers within the AECOM dams group in the Denver office. She received her BS degree in civil engineering from Colorado School of Mines and MS degree in civil/geotechnical engineering from University of Colorado. Ms. Williams has provided dam safety engineering services including inspection, analysis, design, and risk assessment to several federal and private dam owner and operators. Ms. Williams leads the semi-annual publication on dam safety – Western Dam Engineering Tech Notes. She has conducted training on using risk-based condition assessments for managing dam inventories for the state dam safety branches of Colorado, New Mexico, and Hawaii. Ms. Williams is co-developing and co-facilitating a technical workshop on the Emergency Response to Seepage Incidents at the 2018 ASDSO national conference.

  • Introduction and Definitions
  • Filter Principles
  • Filter and Drain Configurations and Components
  • Filter Gradation Design
  • Evaluation of Dams Without Designed Filters
  • Practicalities


On- Demand Webinar
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
Post Survey
5 Questions
5 Questions Post Survey
Completion Quiz
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  6/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  6/10 points to pass
Completion Certificate
2.00 PDH credits  |  Certificate available
2.00 PDH credits  |  Certificate available