Carmanah Solar LED Marine Lights Used as Part of Failure Warning System for Tuttle Creek Dam, KS

October 25, 2004
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The Tuttle Creek Dam and resulting Tuttle Creek Lake was planned, designed, constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps of Engineers also manages the Tuttle Creek Dam and Lake to benefit the state of Kansas by providing flood control, recreation, fish and wildlife management, low flow augmentation and navigation flow supplementation.

The Tuttle Creek Dam features a Failure Warning System consisting of geotechnical instrumentation that measures seismic shaking, detects embankment/foundation deformation, and monitors changes in foundation pore pressures in the event of an earthquake. According to seismic stability and deformation analyses, liquefaction of sandy and clayey soils underlying the upstream and downstream toes of the dam could result in excessive deformation of the upstream and downstream dam slopes, ultimately leading to piping failure and uncontrolled release of the reservoir.

As part of the system, there is sophisticated video surveillance monitoring current conditions of the dam 24 hours per day. To enhance nighttime viewing, Carmanah’s Model 501 solar-powered LED lights are now installed as Embankment Alignment Indicators (EAIs). They are mounted approximately three feet off the ground along the upstream and downstream embankments crest (one row upstream and one row downstream), as well as near the downstream toes of the dam. The lights are located at 100 foot intervals for approximately 3700 feet at each location.

The video surveillance system monitors Carmanah’s lights for any sign of lateral and/or vertical movement. All cameras are remotely controlled from the Tuttle Creek Critical Systems Building, a conference room at the Tuttle Creek Administration Office, as well as an the Corps of Engineers office in Kansas City.

For more information about this unique application for Carmanah solar-powered LED lights, contact Mimi Drabit, Business Development Manager for Carmanah’s Marine Lighting Division at 1-877-722-8877 or via e-mail at

Carmanah would like to thank Mr. Richard Bird, PE, of URS Corporation for his assistance with this case study. URS Corporation was the engineering firm contracted to develop the Tuttle Creek Dam Failure Warning System. For more about the company, visit