Designed and Built to Weather the Storm

Jul 26, 2013


After two 100-year flood events within a 12-month period and the failure of the Laub Wash Retention Dam, the City of Santa Clara has completed the reconstruction of the new replacement dam just in time for the monsoon season. Designed by Sunrise Engineering, the new earthen dam is significantly different than its predecessor. The previous earthen dam was constructed from a uniform material throughout with steeper upstream and downstream slopes. The new dam was designed as a multi-zoned earthen structure with milder upstream and downstream slopes and is designed to meet current State of Utah Dam Safety standards. At the center of the new structure is a clay core, followed by a downstream chimney drain. The outer zone is constructed of a granular material with a "rip rap" exterior. The new dam also includes a 24-inch outlet pipe which will allow water to drain into the City's storm drain pipes at a faster rate. Most of the material for the structure came from within the City, which helped reduce construction costs.