For several years risk management has been promoted by the Victorian Department of Natural Resources and Environment – Water Agencies as the key mechanism for the effective and efficient business management of dams. As part of an extensive water reform program, the Victorian Government announced in October 1997, a financial assistance package for the water industry which included funding for dam improvements covering a majority of large dam owners in the State. One of the conditions for receipt of these improvement funds was the need for each water authority to undertake a Business Risk Assessment of all significant and high hazard dams under its responsibility. This paper discusses the Business Risk Assessment document based on a framework developed by Water Agencies after consultation with the industry and expands on the following reasons why the document was produced:
Kurt Douglas, Matt Spannagle and Robin Fell
This paper describes a method for estimating the probability of failure of concrete and masonry gravity dams through the dam or the foundation. The method is based on the research and analysis of historic failures and accidents performed at The University of New South Wales over the last two years. The method accounts for dam type; age; foundation; height/width ratio; dam performance observations; and monitoring and surveillance.
Brian A Forbes and Jon T Williams
The 43 metre high Cadiangullong Dam was constructed during 1997-1998 to supply untreated water for the Newcrest Cadia gold mine near Orange in NSW. The placement of the 110,000 m3 of RCC was performed without expensive thermal control techniques in an area of extreme climate conditions. Thermal finite element studies were undertaken during design to assess the effect of the climate extremes on construction and assist in the design of contraction joints. An RCC mix with sand proportions in excess of 50% of the fully crushed aggregate by weight was used to eliminate segregation. This also had the effect of requiring a low compaction effort to achieve density but exhibited a sheared surface texture if placed over wet. Following full scale trials the conventional concrete facing was superseded during the early stages of construction with an in situ modified RCC facing. The modified RCC consisted of a grout enriched internally vibrated RCC (GE-RCC) to provide a durable, impervious upstream face. This paper discusses the details of these three aspects and provides design, construction and performance data to date.
Increasingly, owners of ageing dams are having to reconcile with the notion of involving others in decisions affecting the management of their dams. Previously recognised as ‘expert’ exclusive arenas, doctors, lawyers, scientists and engineers are now expected to respond to enquiring consumers and communities. Individuals and communities are expressing their need to share responsibilities.
Events at Hume Dam provide an illustration of the potential challenges and opportunities that all Dam Owners may face. This paper is a narrative of the processes of involving the wider ‘community’ in the Hume Dam remedial work project. It remains for the stakeholders to rate the effectiveness of the process.
One of the most important issues during design and construction of an earthfill dam is how to secure a dam against unwanted events which may occur as a result of water flow (uncontrolled seepage, leakage & piping) through the dam.
Although earthfill dams are the largest by volume compared with other types of dams and they are designed to cope with seepage, their integrity is most sensitive to the effects which may be caused by it. The reason being that the earthfill materials are generally extremely heterogeneous and only one “unwanted” pocket is enough to create problems.
Another critical area is the foundation. In many situations it is not possible to avoid the complex geology which includes faults and joints as part of the foundation. An additional complication may be the presence of dispersive clay in the foundation.
In the area of tailings dams, the problems with seepage are slightly reduced as in most cases, tailings provide a degree of sealing. Tailings dams are very often designed as leaky dams. However, there is a hidden danger in approaching the design this way as at any stage of their lives they can retain water.
This paper presents two case histories of repairs carried out to tailings dams suffering leakage. One case describes leakage through the embankment wall while the other describes seepage through the foundation which contains dispersive soil.
Gary Gibson, Wayne Peck, Ian Landon-Jones and Kumara Arachchi
One of the first seismograph networks designed specifically to record local earthquakes was installed about Sydney in 1958. This network was converted to telemetry in 1983. In 1992, Sydney Water Corporation upgraded the network, integrating the functions of earthquake location and magnitude, measurement of the response of structures to earthquake motion, and provision of information for emergency response. The response function has been developed over the past six years, and is now an “Earthquake Preparation, Alarm and Response” system that provides customised information very soon after any significant event.