ELI5. Dam Deadpools. Why?


Why not just build the dam with the inlets/outlets at the very very bottom? Wouldn’t that allow any water behind the dam to be functional and avoid going to Deadpool status?

In: 3

Rivers carry sediment; dirt, sand, and small amounts of non-dissolved minerals in them that they pick up along the way. When the river reaches the artificial lake that the dam creates, the sediment settles because the water is no longer flowing and pushing it along. This causes build up on the bottom, specifically around the bottom of the dam, because that’s where the water flow basically stops.

If your inlets were located at the bottom of the upper face of the dam, they’d be constantly getting clogged by the settling sediment. Filtering it wouldn’t help that much, because you’d have to regularly stop the flow to clean the filters out; also, now you have to find a place to dump the sediment.