P. H. Southcott, R. Herweynen and R. Fell
Hydro Tasmania is in the process of undertaking a Portfolio Risk Assessment of its 54 referable dams, of which 14 are concrete faced rockfill dams. One of the potential failure modes identified during the study so far is a concentrated leak developing in the face slab or joints of the slab, leading to failure of the dam. Current methodologies for assessment of piping failures through embankment dams are considered inadequate for this failure mode. This paper discusses an event tree methodology developed from the work of Foster and Fell (1999) and Foster et al (2001) to address this failure mode. The key aspect of this method is identifying the factors that influence the likelihood of initiating a concentrated leak through the perimetric, vertical and crest wall joints and through the face slab concrete. It is concluded that for the vast majority of well designed and constructed concrete faced rockfill dams that a concentrated leak leading to failure is very unlikely.
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Paul W. Heinrichs & John Bosler
Spring Creek Dam is a 16m high zoned earthfill dam with a central vertical concrete core wall storing 4700 ML for Orange City Council’s water supply. It was a 14.5m high dam constructed in 1931 and in 1947 was raised by 1.0m. In 1966 after a week of heavy rain following a long dry spell, an 80m section of the downstream face slumped but the dam fortuitously survived. In 1969 the dam was re-constructed but no internal drain/filter was installed.
Following the 1994 dam surveillance report, piezometers were installed in the downstream fill. Drilling for these revealed that a substantial portion of the zone downstream of the core wall was saturated. The piezometers recorded piezometric elevations that closely and rapidly followed the reservoir level. Subsequent site investigations identified pockets of very low strength fill immediately downstream of the core wall. It was concluded that the core wall was seriously compromised and the storage level was subsequently, significantly lowered, as an interim dam safety measure.
Dambreak studies indicated the dam is a high hazard and hydrological studies found that the spillway capacity was inadequate.
This paper details the problems involved, their analyses, and the remedial measures proposed at the concept design stage. These include a chimney filter/drain, a stabilising fill combined with embankment crest raising and the construction of a 3-bay fuse plug auxiliary spillway.
Water storage dams influence the lives of a large number of people. This influence may be through provision of essential water supply or risk of dam failure during sunny day or extreme flood scenarios. It is therefore imperative that these structures are managed in a responsible with a clear understanding of the associated uncertainty. In view of the large capital cost of the structures involved, this understanding is important to ensure that, where necessary,
practical and cost effective solutions are achieved. The NSW Dams Safety Committee largely regulates the management of dams in New South Wales, however, dam owners have the opportunity to display individual initiative in this process.
The Hunter Water Corporation (HWC) is a water authority based in Newcastle, New South Wales, responsible for the supply of water and wastewater services for over 470,000 people. HWC has realised, as a responsible dam owner, that safety improvements are a continuum over the life of the structure. Chichester Dam is an example of this on-going safety improvement process that is illustrated through the principle of ALARP in a risk assessment approach.
R.A. Ayre and T. L. McGrath
The regulatory environment of Queensland’s water resources has changed significantly within the last few years as a consequence of the passing of the Water Act 2000. SunWater, as the owner of referable dams and the operator of water infrastructure, is required to observe the provisions of the new Act.
SunWater has undertaken dam failure analyses of a number of its dams in accordance with the new guidelines prepared by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines. The results of these assessments are being used as part of a portfolio risk assessment of its assets to help prioritise refurbishment activities. Aspects within the guidelines relate to various ANCOLD publications, with a focus on the consequence of failure for determining incremental hazard categories and appropriate design standards for spillway adequacy.
SunWater also operates its schemes under the provisions of Interim Resource Operation Licenses (IROLs). As part of Government’s water planning process, SunWater is required to submit proposed water management arrangements for its schemes. SunWater develops these arrangements, which include operation, water trading, and monitoring rules, to meet its business objectives and the objectives of government. With government approval, these proposed arrangements will translate to the provisions of Resource Operation Licenses when the Resource Operation Planning (ROP) process is completed.
This paper describes SunWater’s experience and approach to meeting regulatory requirements in the above areas.
G.W. Ashman, C.M. Hamilton and N.J. Hall
Consideration of the need to accommodate environmental flows in the operation of major dams is a relatively new requirement in South Australia. Recognition of environmental water requirements has been promoted through the COAG water industry reforms and the State Water Resources Act. The South Australian Water Corporation is working with other Government agencies on environmental flow projects that will potentially involve three of the Corporation’s large dams. This presentation will summarise the work done to date on establishing environmental flow releases from these storages. The presentation will give the SA Water perspective on the regulatory, environmental, social and operational aspects of the environmental flow issue.
Tim Waldron, K D Murray and Allan Crichton
The City of Hervey Bay is a growing tourist community that is located a comfortable 3½ hour drive north of Brisbane. To meet the growing water demands of the community, Wide Bay Water Corporation required the raising of its sole water supply – Lenthalls Dam.
At the time of the option study, Queensland dam owners were aware of their obligation to manage their dams to minimise adverse environmental impacts but detailed Environmental Flow Objectives were still being developed.
This required a solution for the raising of Lenthalls Dam that provided maximum flexibility while, at the same time, being cost effective.
A range of solutions and new technologies were investigated. Using a Risk Management methodology, the Crest Gate system developed in South Africa was adopted.
Subsequently, draft Environmental Flow Objectives have been set and the use of a gated system has been beneficial in meeting post-winter flow objectives.