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Power Generation


  • Clearing all debris from the spillway gate
  • Pressure washing the dam structure
  • Removing an old pipe
  • Installing a new piping system


Industrial Access was contracted to utilize their rope access expertise in a river dam maintenance project. The crew cleared the spillway gates of vegetation debris and replaced the deteriorating sonar pipes. Industrial Access has the experience to handle inaccessible structures like dams while saving the client a considerable amount of time.


2-3 weeks for clearing debris and replacing pipes


Rope access saves a third of the cost compared to other access alternatives


Completed with no safety issues


A hydro plant in the southern United States was in need of debris removal and pipe replacement services. The spillway gates of their river dam were covered in vegetation, dirt, and litter, which risk clogging the mechanism of the gates and restrict their proper functioning. In addition, debris and plant growth entrap moisture, thus accelerating oxidation and corrosion of the structure, compromising its integrity long-term. Debris removal is a regular maintenance procedure, but its absence can potentially lead to costly repairs or eventu­al dam failure.


Rope techniques were utilized in accessing the spillway gates and piping locations. The anchors on the top of the dam were used for rigging ropes during gate debris clearing, and the rigging process took less than a day. This access approach is the most efficient, cost-effective, and safest in comparison to its alternatives, like scaffolding or the boom truck.


Debris was removed, lifted, and disposed of from 16 spillway gates and 6 creek gates total. Vegetation was scraped from the concrete surfaces where the spillway gate seals, and the metal surfaces of the gates were pressure washed to increase the structure’s longevity.

Since the plant’s sonar pipes were dated and deteriorated, IA performed a replacement service, demolishing the old pipes, then wielding and installing new ones of 6” diameter, 10 gauge stainless steel. Pipe joints were welded on-site, and the longest pipe of 60’ was installed with the help of a crane. Sonar pipes should be regularly maintained because they enable monitoring the dam equipment to adjust water levels and flow to automated systems.


The project was completed successfully and on time, restoring the dam to its full operational capacity. As requested by the client, IA also performed non-destructive testing (NDT). Rebound Hammer test was carried out to check on the compression strength of the concrete framing the spillway gates. Related as well as additional non-scope observations were made to keep the client informed about the condition of the dam structure.

power generation dam pressure washing

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