SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2000

Bureau of Reclamation Experience with Construction and Control of Earth Materials for Hydraulic Structures


The United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation has a long history of development of large water supply projects in the western United States. Reclamation developed unique earthwork control techniques such as the Rapid Method of Construction Control. The Rapid Method is a three-point impact compaction test based on standard impact compaction energy level, and is performed on an adjusted wet density basis thus alleviating the need for water content determinations. Each soil sample from the in-place density test is tested using the Rapid Method to assure accurate determination of degree of compaction. Reclamation also uses the relative density for cohesionless soil and has developed a new vibratory hammer test for maximum density. Technology transfer has been accomplished through publications such as the Earth Manual, and by active participation with ASTM, resulting in standardization of many test methods. This paper will review Reclamation procedures and discuss current trends in earthwork construction control.

Author Information

Farrar, JA
Subcommittee D-18.02 on Sampling and Related Field Testing, Denver, Colorado
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Developed by Committee: D18
Pages: 39–57
DOI: 10.1520/STP15273S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5432-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2859-0