In order to prioritize (visual) inspection as well as maintenance and strengthening of levees, numerous non-destructive techniques are listed. The use of geophysical, remote sensing and more recent mobile mapping techniques can result in an improved imaging of the geometry, layer structure, heterogeneity. Consecutive measures can yield information on the behavior and possible deterioration of the embankment.
However, today’s levee management is only just starting to deploy these technologies in everyday practices on a (very) slow pace. In addition, techniques are called innovative and often labeled as on-going research, which keeps them from being applied on large and structural scale. Moreover, measured parameters have no direct geotechnical meaning, inverse modeling is applied to interpret the measurements and therefore highly qualified and trustworthy personnel are needed. Finally, due to charlatans, these technologies do not receive the credits they possibly deserve.
Therefore, aiming for a large scale robust application of promising non-destructive techniques such as electromagnetic methods, spontaneous potential log, sonar imaging, thermography ..., different private companies were asked to solve several imaging or monitoring issues ranging from indicating the presence of anomalies and the detection of the phreatic line to indicating leakage. This paper wants to contribute to a solid knowledge transfer regarding the application of these (so-called) innovative technologies and in doing so, prevent levee managers from reinventing hot water again and again and again.