Tibble Fork Dam Disaster: Terms to Plan Future Sensitive Projects

by Robert John Stevens, August 24, 2016

This morning I met with Utah County Commissioner Bill Lee, probably one of the friendliest and wisest public servants in Utah’s history, who told me that in meetings he warned contractors not to allow large amounts of water to gush out of the Tibble Fork Dam because to avoid unleashing silt and contaminated sediments that would pollute the river below.

That’s just what the contractors did. The result is an environmental and public-relations nightmare.

Here’s a photo of the dirt flowing down the American Fork river:

To reduce the potential for future disasters, vital engineering terms to discuss when planning future sensitive projects include:

Fault tolerance: The property that enables a system to continue operating properly in the event of the failure of (or one or more faults within) some of its components.

Redundancy: The inclusion of extra components that are not strictly necessary to functioning, in case of failure in other components.

Rollback: The process of restoring a database or program to a previously defined state, typically to recover from an error.

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