Peter Quinlan and Sergio Giudici
The Hydro Electric Corporation (HEC) owns and manages 54 large and referable dams across Tasmania. Monitoring, data storage and data utilisation techniques have evolved significantly over the years as the dams have aged and as instrumentation, communication and data management technologies have advanced. This paper describes the development of the HEC’s ‘Asset Safety Evaluation Tool’ (ASET) for acquisition, management and interpretation of data relating to dam safety management. The paper also provides examples of how ASET has been applied within the HEC to demonstrate how the primary functional development goals of robustness and practicality have been achieved.
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Anthony Moulds and Anthony M Watson
The selection of lightning protection equipment will always remain within the cost versus benefit, or risk management area. As more and more monitoring equipment becomes electronic and microprocessor based, we need to have a better understanding of the ways to protect it, and maintain the data flow.
Recent experience has shown that utilising the Australian Standard (NZS/AS 1768-1991) Lightning Protection, in conjunction with a six-point plan, will go a long way to providing total integrated protection for both structures and contents. However, no matter how much protection is applied, damage due to lightning may still occur. For dam surveillance instrumentation the aim ultimately is to protect the transducer ‘in the ground’ or ‘in the dam’, because generally these instruments are inaccessible and non-replaceable without prohibitive drilling and retrofitting costs.
The six-point plan was applied initially to designing lightning protection for a large, well- instrumented RCC dam, completed in 1991. The protection proved to be not as good as was hoped. The paper describes how the lightning protection at the dam was subsequently developed. This experience, which has pointed the way to achieving a good level of protection at a reasonable cost, has been applied to a number of other, instrumented dams.
Robert E Saunders
The vast majority of dams in Australia are relatively small affairs. For example, approximately 90% of Queensland’ referable dams are less than 15 m in height. Most of these dams are owned by small communities, mining companies or farmers, many of which have smaller operations than those of Australia’s larger dam owners. In many cases the dam represents the owner’s sole source of water supply.
Many smaller dam owners are unaware of the key factors affecting the safety and best management of their facilities. Added to this is a general lack of understanding of dam related issues by the community at large. This often leads to significant owner and community concerns (and conflicts) that have the potential to jeopardise the viability, or worse, the safety of a project. The relative importance of the dam to the smaller dam owner often exacerbates these issues.
This paper serves to illustrate, by way of example, a consultant’s viewpoint of some of the issues encountered on small dam projects and suggests actions that the dams industry as whole could take to improve the situation.
The Bundaberg Irrigation Area (BIA) is served by a reticulation system of channels, pipelines, pump stations and balancing storages drawing water from a major dam (Fred Haigh on the Kolan River), augmented by a number of weirs and tidal barrages. The scheme as originally proposed in the late 1960’s included a major dam on the Burnett River that has never been built. Accordingly, the reliability of the system was lower than desired, a situation exacerbated by prolonged drought during the 1990’s.
In the 1980s, alternative (cheaper) sources of water supply were investigated and a weir site on the Burnett River (Walla) was selected as the most promising. In 1993, the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments agreed to the Sugar Industry Infrastructure Package (SHP). Walla Weir was included in the Package, subject to environmental and economic assessment.
Detailed impact assessment studies were carried out and submitted to both State and Commonwealth Environment departments. In the light of strong opposition from environmental groups (whose major concern was the Queensland Lungfish), the Federal Minister for the Environment commissioned an independent review of the IAS before granting approval.
Approval was conditional on the implementation of an Environmental Management Plan and a River Operation Plan as well as a commitment to undertake extensive baseline studies before any new development is proposed in the area. This paper will discuss the investigation and approval process and describe the additional monitoring/studies being carried out.
ANCOLD Environmental Guidelines have been under preparation for a considerable time. A brief for their preparation followed a resolution by the ANCOLD executive in 1991] that:
“ANCOLD should be seen by the profession and the community as a credible and informed source of information on the risks and benefits associated with dam projects.”
Why the guidelines were initiated, why they have taken the time they have to prepare and what they cover are described in this paper.
To the author’s knowledge, they are the only guidelines of their type, addressing the environmental effects of dams and associated works. It is hoped that they generate substantive debate. This paper initiates the public comments phase.
The paper has two purposes:
° = To introduce the guidelines ° To use the guidelines to introduce this environmental issues session of this conference
Jim Walker, Murray Gillon and John Grimston
Karapiro Dam is at the end of a cascade of hydropower dams on the Waikato River in New Zealand’s North Island. The 52m high, high hazard, arch dam retains the lake for a 96MW power station at its downstream toe. Safety reviews recommended a re-evaluation of the dam stability under seismic loading.
Dam owner, Electricity Corporation of New Zealand (ECNZ), commissioned consultants Tonkin & Taylor Ltd to carry out a series of studies and investigations which provided better understanding of the dam’s safety status. Investigations located a previously unrecorded continuous low strength thrust fault underlying the left abutment. This provided the potential for movement of the left abutment gravity blocks under earthquake loading, with adverse effects on arch dam and reservoir safety. Investigations showed the abutment cut off walls to be lower than the PMF lake level. High groundwater levels and erodible pumiceous soils were found at the left abutment. These findings prompted ECNZ to implement stability enhancement works.
This paper describes the studies and investigations, peer review process, and design and construction of enhancement works.