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St. Francis Dam Failure

COURSE PROVIDER: Gilbert Gedeon, P.E.
St. Francis Dam Failure
Course Highlights

This online engineering 2 PDH interactive presentation provides guidance on the construction of the St. Francis Dam and the reasons behind its failure.

The St. Francis Dam was a concrete gravity dam located in San Francisquito Canyon in Los Angeles County, California, United States. It was built between the years of 1924 and 1926 to serve Los Angeles's growing water needs. It failed catastrophically near midnight of March 12th-13th, 1928 due to a defective soil foundation and design flaws, triggering a flood that claimed the lives of at least 432 people and causing property damage worth more than $7 million.

This 2 PDH online interactive presentation is intended primarily for designers, civil and geotechnical engineers responsible for designing, constructing and maintaining dams.

Learning Objectives

This continuing education interactive presentation is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:


  • To know the reason behind building the Saint Francis Dam
  • To identify the history and background of choosing the Saint Francis Dam
  •  To understand the geographic location and timeline of its design and construction
  • To know the observations of the eye witnesses after the failure
  • To understand the missing engineering concepts that lead to its failure
  • To know the effect of the material quality and construction process on the dam
  • To identify how the failure occurred and how it could have been prevented
  • To know the lessons learned from this accident and its benefits to society
Course Document
For this course, you will need to go through the interactive presentation "St. Francis Dam Failure". To access the presentation, you will need to log in or register and purchase the course. Following the course purchase, please click on the link provided in your account to view the presentation. The duration of this presentation is approximately 109 minutes.
This particular course document is accessible only after purchase.

Course Quiz
Once you finish watching the PDH interactive presentation, you will be redirected to your account to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of ten (10) questions to earn 2 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on this interactive presentation.
The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and access the video presentation, please click on: