Internal Drainage Systems for Embankment Dams: On-Demand

This webinar covers the use of sand and gravel filter/drainage systems in embankment dams to protect against excessive seepage pressures, internal erosion in cracks or other anomalies, and piping. Excessive seepage pressures can affect embankment stability related to slope sloughing or failure, and piping from progressive removal of soil forming a tunnel feature in or under the embankment. Many seepage issues in dams involve the development of concentrated leaks that start in cracks or other anomalies associated with foundation and abutment features or penetrations through the embankment. Filter/drainage systems must be properly designed and located to provide safety and function against these potential problems. Drain dimensions and outlet configuration are important considerations that will be covered.

James R. Talbot, P.E.

Consulting Engineer

James R. Talbot is a registered professional engineer with over 54 years of experience in design, construction, and rehabilitation of dams and hydraulic structures.  For the past 19 years, he has been a senior consultant on design, construction and rehabilitation of dams as a self-employed independent consulting specialist. For 35 years, Mr. Talbot worked for the USDA Soil Conservation Service (SCS) [now Natural Resources Conservations Service (NRCS)].  The last 17 years of his time with SCS, he served as Chief Geotechnical Engineer in Washington, D.C. 

Mr. Talbot was involved in research projects on filters for earth dams and has worked extensively in the area of seepage and piping control for embankment dams.  Mr. Talbot was one of three co-authors who received the ASCE Norman Medal in 1985 for the paper; “Filters for Silts and Clays” resulting from the research on filters for earth dams.

Mr. Talbot received a B. S. Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Utah in 1960 and Completed Arthur Casagrande’s Special Masters Degree Program in Soil Engineering from Harvard University in 1968.  He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Oregon, Virginia, North Carolina, and West Virginia.

Mr. Talbot is a Fellow of ASCE, a member of ASDSO, USSD and ASTM where he is an honorary member of Committee D-18 for Soil and Rock.


On- Demand Viewing
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
Post Survey
4 Questions
4 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