Talk:Teton Dam

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What was the death toll?[edit]

I don't see any mention of this is the article.FRA 05:00, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

second sentence in introductory paragraph. The Teton Dam was a federally-built dam on the Teton River in southeastern Idaho in the United States which suffered a spectacular failure on 5 June 1976. The collapse of the dam resulted in the loss of 14 lives. WBardwin 18:12, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
CNN states the death toll as 11.[1] Several dozen books on goolge books state the death toll as 11 also.[2] 00:51, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
There are several sites that state 14 as well including Federal documentation. I believe the discrepancy lies in the time of death. Eleven are directly attributed to the incident. Three being attributed to complications sustained from the event. I have yet to find any documentation to support these differences. 05:05, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
I think the article should specify where the fatalities occured and clarify the 11/14 distinction. (I'll try to come back to help out when my exams are over) cyclosarin 07:10, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Teton Dam Flood Muesem in Rexburg Idaho states that there were 8 directly related deaths and 3 indirectly related deaths which include: suicide due to loss of property, depression, and heart-attack. 14 is incorrect, as it adds the previously already calculated 3 indirect deaths back into the total despite already being calcualted. -- (talk) 08:21, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
My memory leads me to believe that the direct casualties resided in Sugar City proper or in rural areas north of Rexburg. Most residents of Rexburg (an its suburbs, like Hibbard) were warned in time to evacuate. Anyone have a source on this? WBardwin (talk) 23:20, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Ah -- two sources. Will revise.

Did they rebuild it?[edit]

No, but the remains are still there but I can not find it on Google Earth; where exactly is it?

43.9096°N, 111.5391°W (WGS84/NAD83):
That translates to 43°54′34.56″N 111°32′20.76″W / 43.9096000°N 111.5391000°W / 43.9096000; -111.5391000 That puts it where the Teton Dam Road (no longer) crosses the Teton River.
Found it by searching on TopoZone for all dams in Madison County, Idaho. --Kbh3rdtalk 05:36, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Cause of the collapse[edit]

Due to the signifact numbers of deaths and vast destruction of communities downstream, a leangthy explanation of the root causes of the various failures leading up to the dam collapse is warranted. Contributors: please enhance this section in deapth... 02:10, 6 October 2006 (UTC) Zoomeri

From a personal connection to the event, there were miraculously few deaths associated with the collapse. Warning was given to most of the downstream communities and people were generally evacuated to higher ground. Property damage and general destruction was significant for many of the communities, however. The primary cause, discussed in news stories, was selection of a geologicly flawed dam site. In the news and other public discussions, it was revealed that two or three local Idaho engineering firms were originally asked to evaluate the site chosen by the feds and bid on the project. All of them, after investigation, refused to bid, citing poor placement of the dam, lack of reliable stone as a foundation, and the potential for failure of the mandated earthen dam structure. Of course, the feds went ahead and hired a larger "outside" firm (Morrison-Knudsen Company, Inc.) who built the dam to federal specs. So -- it appears that few insiders should have been surprised at the dam's failure. Local news archives -- The Idaho Falls "Post Register", for one -- would probably confirm some of my recollections, and maybe my POV as well. Perhaps sometime in the future I'll get to IF and see what I can find. Any reader out there have easier access? Best wishes. WBardwin 02:33, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

This section needs to be rewritten focusing on the actual cause of the dam failure. There is conjecture and opinion. How exactly is a blot on someones reputation a cause of the collapse? JustAKnowItAll (talk) 05:39, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

A very detailed account of the collapse is in the book Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner. It is very well researched and has all the relevant information. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:21, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

I am a student at BYU-Idaho in Rexburg. After interviewing several members of the original Dam team and documents related to the Dam's construction available in on campus materials, I can find no references to the "preventable" section. In case actual citation appears I will cut and paste into the discussion here for redespoit into the main article IF CITATION can be found. Also I would change the 'circular argument' of "was known prior to construction" verses "In light of subsequent events" as a valid discussion.-- (talk) 08:28, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
However, it is arguable that the tragedy was preventable. There were four key reasons, known prior to construction, why the Teton Dam should not have been built in the first place:
  1. it failed cost-benefit analysis, delivering irrigation water at prices far out of reach of local farmers;
  2. supposed flood control benefits were illusory, in light of subsequent events tragically so;
  3. a significant number of local interests did not want it built and challenged the legality of it in court;
  4. it was sited in an area of known instability.

Nothing is mentioned about the political causes of the disaster. Engineering reports recommended against such a dam being built in that area, but due to local political pressures, it was pushed forward regardless of the possible consequences. Landroo (talk) 19:36, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

What is the Construction Cost?[edit]

The first paragraph states "about $100 million", yet it is also as "$3,825,849". The latter figure is incorrect as that is the construction cost for the power and pumping plant. An estimated cost of $48,490,000 is stated in the following link: Other than another online article without sources, I can not find any reliable source that states the construction cost of the dam was about $100 million.

JustAKnowItAll (talk) 05:48, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Link above has been moved to, which states as a contract awarded. Will reflect this in article.-- (talk) 08:47, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Which County?[edit]

Someone just reading the article won't know where the dam was, other than "southeast Idaho". A link to Madison_County,_Idaho should be inserted somewhere. That article links to this Teton Dam one. Typical Idaho, we put Lewiston in Nez Perce County and Nez Perce in Lewis County and name a dam Teton in Madison county while Teton County has... Tetonia. (Wow, a city in an Idaho county that's named after the county it's in!)

American Falls Dam[edit]

Keep seeing here, and other sites mention strain on American Falls dam and the "significant" discharge or "near draining" of the reservoir. I added a source with data from the Bureau of Reclamation showing they barely increased discharge and they went less than a foot over normal capacity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:40, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Where does the text originate?[edit]

In the "Collapse and flood" section some parts are copied from 03:52 of this Youtube video. (talk) 04:15, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

It is entirely possible that the text originated here and was used by the author of the video. It's often difficult to determine who's copying from whom when Googling portions of texts to check for copyright. --Kbh3rdtalk 03:15, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Construction cost?[edit]

Icons-mini-flag red.gif

The intro paragraph says $100 million, but the info box says $48.8 million. That's more than a rounding error. --Kbh3rdtalk 03:18, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Who or what is Bureau?[edit]

Bureau might mean something to Americans but it's not apparent to me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:36, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

I see there's a link on the info panel. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:36, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

'Dead' link[edit]

Regarding: {"Teton Dam Flood, June 5, 1976", by Elaine Johnson,}. The link, for whatever reason, does not access through Wikipedia. However, if you place the address in Google, the article pops up. Does Wikipedia exclude use of pages? This is a first person account of Johnson's experience and observations during and after the flood, contains pictures and a list of casualties and information about them. Would be regarded as both a primary and secondary source in academic circles, I believe. Any ideas about making the link 'live'? WBardwin (talk) 00:58, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Vocabulary Errors[edit]

The article says "grouting – injecting concrete into the substrates under high pressure." Grout is NOT concrete. It's grout - a mixture of cement and fine aggregates. Concrete contains a mixture of fine and coarse aggregates. According to my dictionary "substrate" is

substrate |ˈsəbˌstrāt| noun a substance or layer that underlies something, or on which some process occurs, in particular:
• the surface or material on or from which an organism lives, grows, or obtains its nourishment.
• the substance on which an enzyme acts.
• a material that provides the surface on which something is deposited or inscribed, for example the silicon wafer used to manufacture integrated circuits.

So the word is a vocabulary error. It should be replaced with something like bedrock or dam abutments. I propose to change the text to "injecting grout into the abutments under high pressure." I am aware that the text is probably plagiarized from some report but even if it is reclamation ebonics it's still wrong. Senor Cuete (talk) 22:03, 1 September 2012 (UTC)Senor Cuete

No, that's why "grout" was in quotes, which you removed -- it was description by analogy. In everyday situations we would use grout to fill a small hole, but here we're going to "grout" these fissures in the canyon walls (which later expanded to be much larger than originally found to be) using concrete as the equivalent to "grout". The word is in the original source -- not a report, but a book with a section about the dam failure - quoted, in the same manner. This is not "reclamation ebonics" whatever that is supposed to mean, it's the creative use of words to explain unusual procedures in terms of ordinary life. Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:46, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── In the sentence "Thousands of animals were killed by the tsunami", the countable plural noun "thousands of animals" takes the plural form "were". In the sentence "When the flood waters hit, thousands of board feet of timber caught fire from leaking gas, and were swept downstream", the countable plural noun "thousands of board feet of timber" takes the plural form "were". Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:04, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Factual error - geology[edit]

According to the Snake river plain article the eastern Snake River plain is "is underlain almost entirely by basalt erupted from large shield volcanoes." The article should be edited to correct this and the Snake river plain text should be linked to the Snake river plain article. If you look at the canyon you can see that it is cut into basalt which is vesicular. This makes it highly pourous and is one of the reasons it wouldn't hold water and needed to be heavily grouted. I'll look up a citation for this. Senor Cuete (talk) 14:46, 4 September 2012 (UTC)Senor Cuete

I've linked Snake River Plain as you suggested, but my geology is not up to snuff sufficiently to make the rest of the change you suggest. Once you've got a cite for what's in the SRP article, you should go ahead and make the change - but bear in mind that if the info in the other article is unsourced there, it could be wrong (as could the info here, also unsourced). Beyond My Ken (talk) 19:05, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Found a ref, so I integrated the info as you suggested. Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:38, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

GROUT not concrete[edit]

Beyond My Ken You keep changing the word "grout" to "concrete" citing Perrow. I just read the relevant chapter in Perrow and he's not a reliable source. He calls it the "Grand Teton Dam" which it's not. He's not a very good writer. His chapter that mentions the "Grand Teton Dam" is rambling, disorganized and only discusses the Teton Dam very briefly along with a large number of similar disasters. I can't even find where he mentions the grout curtain at all so your claim that a "reliable" source says that concrete was injected into the dam abutments looks totally wrong to me. All official sources call it a grout curtain created by injecting grout. Grout is a real word and does not need to be in quotes - there's even a Wikipedia article about grout and it can be wikilinked. Since you erroneously cite an unreliable source for your claim about concrete I think I'm entitled to revert your edit back to the grouting procedure that's described in all reliable sources. Can you actually cite a reliable source that refers to it as concrete? Also I suggest that you read the wikipedia articles about grout and concrete. Senor Cuete (talk) 19:28, 7 September 2012 (UTC)Senor Cuete

Also If you think about it you'll realize that it couldn't be concrete because concrete contains coarse Construction aggregate which is too large to penetrate and seal the small fissures in the rock. This is why it had to be grout which is a mixture of Portland cement and fine sand.

A note from someone who doesn't have the source at hand: grout is the appropriate term, whether or not the author of this particular source understands it. Grout curtains are what are used with dams and dikes, pumped under pressure into the ground, as well as grout injection in unstable geology. The largest aggregate usually found in grout is about the size of a pea (so-called pea-gravel grout), mostly in the building trades. In civil engineering it's almost always a sand aggregate. Our grout article deals only with the sort of grout found in bathrooms and concrete block walls, which is a problem. In any case, concrete, with coarse aggregate, is not used in this kind of situation, regardless of the source's assertion. However, the technical differences between grout, concrete and cement are usually lost on laymen. Acroterion (talk) 20:41, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
I stand corrected, then, the source I cited (a non-specialist) must have gotten it wrong. If someone hasn't changed it already, I'll change it back now. Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:44, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
@Senor Cuete - I don't believe that you think anyone (aside from yourself, of course), is a very good writer. In any case, regardless of the quality of the writing, Perrow's book is classic in its field - but it's true his speciality is the sociology of organizations, not geology. Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:46, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Deaths, damage and property claims - question[edit]

The article states "The force of the Teton Dam failure destroyed the lower part of the Teton River, washing away riparian zones and reducing the canyon walls." Can anyone explain what is meant by "reducing the canyon walls"?

I assume whoever wrote it meant def. 5, but it's ambiguous. Beyond My Ken (talk) 18:00, 7 September 2012 (UTC)