Routine inspections, conducted annually, are a critical component of a levee safety program and focus on the operation and maintenance of the project. These annual inspections verify the project sponsor operates and maintains the levee to achieve the maximum benefits the levee was designed to provide. Routine inspection items include vegetation, encroachments, closure structures, erosion, animal burrows, pump operation, culverts and relief wells. Routine inspections result in an acceptable, minimally acceptable or unacceptable rating and affect the project’s eligibility for federal rehabilitation assistance under Public Law 84-99 if damaged in a flood or storm event.
The periodic inspection is the next level in the levee safety program and is conducted by a multidisciplinary team, led by a professional engineer. It includes a more detailed, comprehensive and consistent evaluation of the condition of the levee system and will be conducted every five years on federally authorized levees in the Corps program. Activity under the periodic inspection includes routine inspection items; verifies proper operation and maintenance; evaluates operational adequacy, structural stability and, safety of the system; and compares current design and construction criteria with those in place when the levee was built.
The final periodic inspection rating is based upon the routine inspection items, and will include an acceptable, minimally acceptable or unacceptable rating. Additional periodic inspection information that will be shared with the project sponsor includes identification of components and features that require monitoring over time. A levee system that receives an unacceptable rating for the routine inspection items during the periodic inspection may become ineligible for federal rehabilitation assistance if damaged in a flood or storm event.