D.N.D. Hartford and R.A. Stewart
It seems perfectly logical, obviously desirable and apparently sensible to prioritise dam safety reviews, deficiency investigations and capitalised remediation projects in terms of risk. However, our experience in attempting to apply the various deterministic and risk- based approaches in prioritising dam safety activities has revealed that, while it may appear to be quite logical and desirable to prioritise in terms of risk, it is rather less feasible than it appears.
This paper explores why different prioritisation processes can lead to different priority rankings across the same portfolio of dams. B.C. Hydro’s Preliminary Risk Exposure Profile process, which utilises the best and most robust attributes of risk analysis process at the preliminary level but avoids the pitfalls associated with estimating risks which will often have little or even no basis is presented. The paper explains how this process provides a “fail-safe” backup which will identify non-conservative and erroneous facility risk estimates; thereby allowing for correction in a timely fashion. The paper also raises some awkward philosophical issues which the profession will have to address in order to permit confident dam safety decision-making on the basis of risk analyses. Not the least of these is the following issue – “If preliminary estimates of risk are reasonably good, then there should be little need for more detailed risk analysis for confident and defensible decisions concerning making or not making dam safety improvements”.
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D. C. Green
The disaggregation of public water supply bodies in recent years has seen the functions of ownership, design and operation transferred to separate bodies. Consequently , issues of risk management associated with legal liability which previously could be ignored because all risks were absorbed in -house must now be faced and addressed in a more formal way.
This paper looks firstly at the general principles of legal liability for dam performance associated with construction and design, ownership of an existing dam and monitoring of its performance. Liability under several different areas of the law is discussed. Special issues associated with “design and construct” contracts are then highlighted, and warnings are given for project sponsors who control the letting of contracts and the briefing of consultants.
Leonard A McDonald and Chi Fai Wan
A risk assessment has been undertaken as part of a comprehensive review of the safety of Hume Dam. Use of risk assessment techniques, to assist in evaluating the safety of existing dams, is a relatively recent trend. Hume Dam was a particularly challenging subject for the application of risk assessment techniques at their present stage of development. The challenge lay in the number and diversity of dam elements to be analysed, in the number and complexity of the potential failure modes and in the fact that there were significant safety issues under normal operating conditions.
This paper outlines some of the key lessons learned from that phase of the risk assessment that was concerned with estimating the chance of dam failure. Some of the issues discussed have not previously been addressed in the literature and some demonstrate a clear need for improved analysis procedures.
M Scuero and Gabriella L Vaschetti
The use of watertight synthetic geomembranes as waterproofing and protection elements for all types of dams started in Europe in the late 1950s and has since been widely applied all over the world as long term repair measure, or as the only element providing watertightness since the design and construction stage.
D. B. Edwards, B.H. Jackson & R. H. Wright
Ground anchorages are installed to support structures such as dams, slopes and tunnels. Failure of anchorages could be serious.
The condition of these critical supports is currently assessed by monitoring the load in the anchorages by either load cells or lift-off testing (jacking). Both methods are expensive and testing may damage the corrosion protection beneath the anchorage head.
A non-destructive testing method for ground anchorages needed developing and the UK Universities of Aberdeen and Bradford developed a testing system called GRANIT with patent applications on the system filed world-wide.
Full scale measurements were conducted during the construction of Penmaenbach and Pen y Clip Tunnels on the UK’s A55, where rock support was provided by prestressed rock anchorages. In all 9000 records of anchorage response were analysed.
A major finding from the research was that the response of the anchorages to the dynamic impulse motion produced by the blast loading depended on how the anchorage had been constructed and on the nature of the surrounding rock mass. If the prestress load in the anchorage was changed, or the free length increased, a noticeable change was observed in the response ‘signature’ as monitored by an accelerometer located at the anchorage head.
Applying a known impulse load to the anchorage head immediately after construction and measuring the response, provides a datum response signature for the intact anchorage. If the anchorage was to deteriorate in any way, eg loss of prestress, this should be noticeable on subsequent response signatures. This approach is the basis of the GRANIT system.
A short programme of anchor calibration testing for bolts was conducted in Hawkesbury sandstone in Sydney during March 1998 and developments in Australia and UK are proceeding.
J. H. Green and P. I. Hill
Early Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) studies and spillway adequacy assessments for Hume Dam adopted the standards based approach of the time. Since then considerable work and thought has gone into the estimation of extreme floods – both the philosophy and the practice. These changes include the general change in emphasis away from a standards based approach and towards risk assessment; the move towards an AEP-neutral approach for the transformation of extreme rainfalls to extreme floods; and the redefinition of both the PMP and the PMF.
This paper details the effect these and other changes to extreme flood estimation techniques have had on the perceived adequacy of the Hume Dam spillway to pass extreme floods.