The paper outlines the integration of Environmental Risk Management in Goulburn- Murray Water with previous work on Dam Safety, Business and Occupational Health and Safety risks. This has now been followed by the development of an Environmental Management System (EMS) to provide an environmental risk management framework for the whole Authority.
An Environmental Audit in 1997 identified deficiencies in some areas of environmental management and questioned the Authority’s ability to demonstrate due diligence. This led to a decision to develop and implement an EMS based on the International Standard ISO 14001.
Examination of Goulburn-Murray Water activities, associated environmental aspects and impacts, (and the consequences arising), led to the establishment ofan environmental risk register. Analysis and assessment of the risks to produce a ranking Jrom low to very high is described. Refinement to a significant risk register (high and very high risks), and consolidation into a list of generic risks based on major activities, functions and asset categories is described.
Based on this risk profile for the Authority, the Environmental Policy and Objectives were revised, and a methodology for identifying Environmental Targets was developed. Environmental Risk reduction is then delivered through the implementation of target driven Environmental Management Programs (EMPs).
Major system elements described include an emergency response plan, a legal register, an authority / responsibility matrix, a document control system, procedures, forms, training, auditing, and reporting.
The paper describes some of the practical issues encountered and the lessons learned with a focus on the activities of the Headworks Business. A prospective view of implementation and culture change issues is given.
The role of judgement in risk assessments as applied in dam safety management has been the source of considerable debate in recent years. With regard to risk analysis of dams, and while there is general agreement that judgement is an essential element of the process, essentially two schools of thought have emerged. One view holds that, in the assignment of probabilities, reliance can be based on collective engineering judgement that is anchored to a knowledge base. The second view holds that judgement should be based on the knowledge that is revealed by an appropriate amount of analysis. The paper, written from the perspective of the latter view, explores some of the underlying issues in this debate.
The role of judgement in risk evaluation, the process of judging the significance of risk, is considered to be equally important. However, the process of making value judgements and statements of principles is complex and often beyond the sphere of engineering. The third issue addressed in the paper concerns the search for answers to the question, “How good is the assessment?”
Ahmad Shayan, Robert J. Wark and John Waters
The Canning Dam concrete gravity structure located in Western Australia has shown an upward movement of 18.3 mm and lateral upstream movement of 14.2 mm over the past 15 years of monitoring. These movements have been associated with considerable cracking of the upper parts of the dam and the upper gallery. Investigations have shown that the cause of the cracking was a strong alkali-aggregate reaction (AAR) in the concrete, brought about by a deformed granitic rock. Extensive horizontal and vertical cracking in the upper part of the dam wall has necessitated the removal of the section above the floor of the upper gallery level, and construction of a new reinforced concrete section to act as head beam for post-tensioning of the rest of the dam wall.
A set of small diameter cores were taken from the various parts for diagnostic purposes, and a vertical core of 100 mm diameter was taken through the whole thickness of the wall for the determination of the strength properties, alkali content and residual expansion potential. Based on these, a post-tensioning stress of 1.5-2.0 MPa has been calculated for restraining the residual expansion of the concrete. The spillway bridge structure which is part of the dam wall has also shown mild signs of deterioration. The piers and abutment walls and the deck were surveyed for corrosion activity and extent of AAR. This work showed that the spillway bridge structure was sound and only needed maintenance. The performance of a triple blend concrete mix containing a high volume of fly ash (45%) and silica fume (5%) developed for the replacement of the old concrete is also discussed.
Kumara Arachchi and Kelvin J Lambkin
Wetlands by their very nature act as storages of pollutants and nutrients in systems subject to environmental stresses. Wingecarribee Swamp acted in this manner and enhanced the quality of catchment runoff flowing into the Wingecarribee Reservoir until the structural failure of early August 1998 in which 6000 megalitres of peat and sedimentary material were moved into the Reservoir. Protection of the Swamp’s functions and values is directly related to Sydney Catchment Authority’s core objectives of protecting the environment and protecting public health by supplying drinking water of acceptable quality. Due to the catastrophic failure, water quality in the reservoir and the ecological integrity of the Swamp have been compromised. The incident has also resulted in significant dam safety issues.
This paper describes the dam safety, catchment management and water quality response to the failure of a major peatland which covered 8% of the catchment of Wingecarribee Reservoir in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.
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.
S. Knight, B. Cooper and P. van Breda
Warragamba Dam was completed in 1960 and impounds Sydney’s main water supply storage. Hydrological studies in the 1980’s showed the existing spillway to be significantly undersized by modern standards. Considering the dam’s High Incremental Flood Hazard category, the current risk of dambreak is unacceptably high. This has resulted in a two-stage program to upgrade the dam to full Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) capability.
The interim (first stage) measures were completed in 1990 and involved a 5.1 metre raising of the dam crest and significant post-tensioning of the dam wall. Following many feasibility/option studies and detailed technical and environmental studies, a contract was let by Sydney Water Corporation (SWC) in late 1998 for the construction of an auxiliary spillway as the major (second stage) component of the flood security upgrading. The spillway will be a large capacity (about 18,000m*/s) concrete lined chute 700 metres long around the dam’s right abutment. In the upper curved section will be the largest fuse plug embankments in Australia (up to 14.5 metres high). The lower straight section will terminate with a flip bucket structure.
The NSW Department of Public Works and Services (DPWS) designed the earlier Interim Works, undertook the subsequent engineering option studies for the Major Works and carried out the concept design and technical specification for the new auxiliary spillway and associated dam modification works. This paper summarises the project, describes the main features of the concept design of the spillway and outlines the associated dam modifications.