Chivor Dam, Columbia


Product:         Geotube® Marine Structures Technology

Application:   Underwater Structures

Location:       Chivor Dam, Columbia

Installation:   1999


The Challenge:

The government built an earthen dam for hydroelectric power generation.  It was discovered that a temporary diversion tunnel, used during the dam construction, was inadvertently left open.  A slope failure and nearby landslides caused debris and sediments to enter the diversion tunnel [photo 2].  This began to disrupt power generation by causing excess turbine wear and vibration.

The Solution:

Using Geotube® marine containment technology, an underwater structure of concrete-filled Geotube® units was the key to seal off the tunnel opening.  The project used a specially modified barge [photo 3].  GPS technology pinpointed the exact location for the barge to properly position the Geotube® unit.  High sump, slow-set concrete was pumped into the containers [photo 4].  They were then lowered from the barge to the tunnel location.

The Results:

Sonar scans confirmed the proper positioning of the concrete Geotube® units.  The containers were blocking the tunnel opening [photo 6].