M.B.Barker and B.A. Vivian
Tumut Pond and Island Bend Dams are owned and operated by the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Authority. These dams, which are gated, have recently had significant electrical supply and control system upgrades. Subsequent reliability analyses performed for the gates provided unexpected results which highlighted issues concerning common mode failures and common cause failures associated with the mechanical systems. A further unexpected outcome of the analyses was the minor affect of human error and response to the emergency operating conditions of the gates in the event of electrical supply failure due to the over-riding mechanical system failures. This outcome was of benefit to the owners who had some concern that centralization of operation and consequent reduction in operating personnel would have an adverse effect on the reliability of the gates. The operation of the automatic control system is an ongoing issue for Island Bend where hunting of the gate operation is yet to be resolved. The preparation of the fault trees, development of failure probabilities and outcomes of the analyses are discussed in the paper which highlights some of the difficulties in design and operation of spillway gates, particularly where human response time is limited and automatic control is essential.
The Forth River dams consisting of Cethana (110m), Devils Gate (84m) and Paloona (43m), were constructed between 1964 – 1971. The Population at Risk (PAR) downstream of this cascade system is significant in the event of hypothetical dam failure.
By 1990 a Generalised Method had been fully developed for estimating extreme rainfalls for South East Australia. Using these extreme rainfall estimates, flood estimates were updated for all dams owned by Hydro Tasmania. These estimates indicated that the spillway capacity of the three Forth River dams no longer complied with current practice.
The risk position of these Forth River dams did not comply with the ANCOLD risk based criteria, indicating that some level of upgrade should be considered to reduce the risk associated with flooding. Given the risk position, considerable priority was placed on resolving this issue.
Due to physical constraints within the Cethana Dam site area, it was difficult to upgrade to a “Standards Based” level of upgrade without very high expenditure and imposing additional risk arising from major dam modifications. Instead the ALARP (As Low As Reasonably Practicable) principle was adopted to determine an appropriate level of upgrade, which did not preclude upgrading to a higher standard, should this be necessary at some time in the future.
The spillway upgrade for the three Forth River dams was approved in 1999 and detailed design has commenced with completion of construction planned for 2003. This paper will include discussions on the decision making process, communicating complex dam safety issues to senior management and some interesting details of the design.
Mike Taylor and Doug Halloran
Candowie Dam is a 15m high embankment dam with a storage capacity of 2182 ML. It is the primary source of water for the Westernport Region Water Authority which includes Phillip Island and the town of Cowes south- east of Melbourne.
The existing spillway, comprising a 21m long concrete ogee profile crest discharging into a concrete chute which converges to a width of 7m, has a capacity to only accommodate the I in 6 000 annual exceedance probability (AEP) flood, well short of the required capacity of the 1 in 40 000 AEP flood.
In addition, Westernport Water would like to increase the yield of Candowie Dam as far as economically possible, within the scope of the spillway works.
A solution has been developed whereby the spillway capacity could be increased to accommodate the 1 in 40 000 AEP flood and at the same time the full supply level could be raised by 900mm resulting in an increase in storage of 573 ML and an increase in yield of 580 ML per year.
The solution comprises the following:
The fusegates are designed to tip off incrementally with the initial tip off occurring when the flood exceeds the 1 in 200 AEP flood. The tip offs are actuated purely by hydrostatic pressure developed by the rising flood level and programmed so that at no stage does the outflow flood peak exceed the inflow flood peak.
Westernport Water can accommodate the risk (0.5% per year) of the occasional loss of the existing top 830mm of storage resulting from a tip-off.
The total cost of the augmentation is estimated to be in the order of $ 700 000.
PJ. Cummins, P.B. Darling, P. Heinrichs, J.Sukkar
The Department of Land and Water Conservation, Town Water Treatment and Recycling Branch, had identified a number of local government council-owned dams throughout NSW with deficiencies. SMEC was engaged to undertake a portfolio risk assessment to assist in the development of an appropriate program of remedial works.
The portfolio risk assessment methodology relies on the development of consistent assessments of failure probability, consequence level and cost estimate for mitigation measures. This tool enables a large amount of data on a portfolio of dams to be drawn together so as to provide decision makers with a coherent and robust basis for the development of a program of remedial works.
M.A. Foster, R. Fell, R. Davidson, C.F. Wan
The probability of failure of embankment dams by internal erosion and piping can be estimated using historic performance, and event tree methods. Event tree methods are preferred for all except preliminary assessments, because they can better model the characteristics of the dam. This paper provides guidance on how to estimate the conditional probabilities within the event tree based on an understanding of the process involved, the historic performance of dams, and experience in recent risk analyses. This includes methods for representing the reservoir water level; assessing the likelihood that piping initiates; assessing the likelihood that erosion will be controlled by the filters or transition zones; and assessing the likelihood of development of a pipe and breach. The paper will be useful for those carrying out risk analyses and will also have relevance to those who are assessing piping of dams using traditional methods.
Dr Bradford Sherman, Dr Phillip Ford, Allison Mitchell, Gary Hancock
Recent reports from the World Commission on Dams have highlighted the relative lack of knowledge regarding the release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from reservoirs. In order to be considered eligible to receive carbon credits in the future, hydropower facilities probably will be assessed using some sort of life cycle analysis of net GHG emissions.
Unfortunately, empirical data regarding GHG emissions is available only for a few reservoirs none of which are located in temperate or semi-arid climates.
We report preliminary observations on the vertical distributions of methane and carbon dioxide in Chaffey Reservoir (Tamworth, NSW) and Dartmouth Reservoir, two temperate zone reservoirs located in southeastern Australia. In Chaffey, the diffusive methane flux from the hypolimnion to the epilimnion (where it is oxidised by bacteria) was estimated to be 220-1760 mg-CH, m’ d’. Operation of a destratification system released 43 t of CH, to the atmosphere in 3 days. The carbon dioxide flux to the atmosphere via the surface of Dartmouth was 21-168 mg-CO, m’ d’, and 530 mg-CO, m° d’ through the turbine. The impact on GHG emissions of common reservoir management techniques such as destratification and hypolimnetic oxygenation is discussed.