Robert Wark, Nihal Vitharana and Michael Somerford
This paper reviews the history of dam remedial works on publicly-owned dams in Western Australia over the last 40 years. Projects have ranged from refurbishment of the facilities, through capacity upgrades to complete reconstruction. Major work has been undertaken on at least thirty dams. Most of these dams are now owned by Western Australia’s Water Corporation. The Corporation continues to undertake remedial works where necessary and now has a strategy in place for an on-going program of remedial works.
The paper outlines the scope of the work undertaken and why the work was required. The current status of the Corporation’s planning for an on-going remedial works program is also reported.
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David Dole and Brian Haisman
The $75 million remedial works at Hume Dam on the Murray River near Albury have been of national significance. The rehabilitation program associated with the structure itself and with its appurtenant works is now in the final steps of construction. The authors summarise this program with an emphasis not on technical details, but on decision processes. Equity in this dam is, in effect, held in equal parts by three State governments and by the Commonwealth government. At the same time, in response to the national water reform agenda, the governments have agreed upon new cost sharing arrangements that more nearly reflect the value of services to each government. The particular problems of decision-making within this evolving inter-State environment are discussed.
Lessons from experiments with application of risk analysis are discussed. Finally, the matter of adequacy of the structure for extreme floods is still under consideration. Hume Dam will presently pass the Design Flood developed in accord with Book VI (1999) of Australian Rainfall and Runoff, and the Dam Crest Flood has been estimated to have an annual exceedance probability of 1:110,000. _ Retrofitting a spillway to pass the estimated Probable Maximum Flood will double the cost of remedial works and is estimated at 10 times the cost of similar capacity built into original construction. The authors discuss the public policy elements of this pending decision.
M. B. Barker, R.M. Holroyde, J Williams and T. Qiu
Grahamstown Dam is a major water supply source for the Newcastle area and it is proposed to raise the full supply level by 2.4m from RL 10.4m to RL 12.8m. The present spillway is inadequate to pass the PMF without overtopping of the existing embankments at the new FSL and part of the raising comprises construction of a new embankment of about 10m high with a right bank spillway upstream of the existing spillway capable of passing the PMF. The Pacific Highway is located some 600m downstream of the new spillway and a 60m wide culvert below the Pacific Highway is being constructed with capacity sufficient to pass the PMF. Significant changes were made to the feasibility design for the spillway and the Pacific Highway culvert using a labyrinth spillway and a baffle chute energy dissipator respectively. Both of these designs are uncommon and the process of finalising the designs as well as some of the problems in the use of a labyrinth spillway and the cost savings realised in the use of these designs are presented.
P.I. Hill, D. Cook, R.J. Nathan, P.A. Crowe, J.H. Green, N. Mayo
This paper describes the development of a comprehensive approach to estimating the consequences of failure of a dam. The approach considers separately the consequences in terms of potential loss of life, economic loss and damage to the environment and the development and application of the method involved professionals from a wide range of disciplines. The method has been applied to 28 dams in NSW.
The entire historical record of rainfall archives held by the Bureau of Meteorology over the region of Australia affected by tropical storms has been examined and the extreme storms have been extracted. From this database, we account for site specific effects (moisture and topography) from each of the storms, allowing us to compare storms amongst each other. This then allows us to construct a theoretical maximum precipitation in a generalised sense. By then returning the site specific information for a particular region, we can infer the probable maximum precipitation at this location.
Pieter van Breda, Peter Walton, Kate Lenertz and Tim Sheridan
The Warragamba Dam Auxiliary Spillway Project, designed to manage floodwaters up to a Probable Maximum Flood event, was approved by the NSW Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning on February 12, 1998. An Environmental Impact Statement prepared for this project predicted that noise, dust (suspended and deposited), blasting, vibration, water quality and revegetation would be the significant environmental issues requiring management throughout the construction phase.
The closest residents are approximately 200m from the construction activity. The works must not interfere with the operation of the Dam, which stores 80% of Sydney’s drinking water and the integrity of the existing infrastructure must be maintained at all times. The approved proposal was to emplace the 2.2Mm3 of spoil excavated to create the spillway in an area 25 ha by 20m high on top of a ridge on the left bank adjoining the Blue Mountains National Park. This created visual impact and rehabilitation challenges.
Although the contract for this project was primarily performance based, strict environmental clauses were incorporated to manage these priority issues. Noise and dust modelling were required from each pre-qualified Tenderer, to demonstrate capability of compliance with NSW Environment Protection Authority requirements. This formed part of the tender assessment. Criteria were also developed for revegetation, specifying numbers of endemic trees, shrubs and grasses per 400m2 of spoil emplacement in order to create a floral community similar to the existing adjacent National Park.
The implementation of these requirements and the development of a site Environmental Management Plan by the Sydney Catchment Authority, Australian Water Technologies and Abigroup Contractors, whilst maintaining productivity, has proven to be a working example of the benefits of Partnering.