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.
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Richard R. Davidson, Shane McGrath, Adrian Bowden, Andrew Reynolds
Goulburn-Murray Water (G-MW) manages thirteen major dams for the State of Victoria. As part of its Dam Improvement Program (DIP), five priority dams were identified for detailed safety and performance evaluation. Over the last three years, the design reviews have been completed and a series of dam safety issues have been identified which pose societal and financial risk. Substantial financial resources will be required to be applied over a considerable period to bring these dams into compliance with established international and Australian standards. Which of these dam safety issues should be addressed first? In what sequence and with what urgency should the actions be implemented? Can cost-effective interim targets be set? How can the remaining eight
dams, which could also pose societal and financial risk, be prioritised for future detailed investigation? To answer these questions a quantitative risk assessment approach was used. The approach utilised expert engineering and consequence panels and included input to and review of the process and outcomes by a stakeholder reference panel reporting directly to the Board of G-MW. The implementation of a strategic risk management process has now begun to progressively and systematically reduce the dam safety risk across the entire dams portfolio. This process recognises that available funding for risk reduction measures is very limited, so the highest risks are reduced in an incremental fashion to achieve interim risk targets and eventually meet contemporary dam safety standards.
Russell Hawken, Peter Buchanan, Doug Connors, Bill Hakin
Dartmouth Regulating Dam is located on the Mitta Mitta River, approximately 8 km downstream of
Dartmouth Dam. The dam is a 23 m high concrete gravity structure with a 60 m long central spillway
section. The dam forms the storage required for regulating releases from the Dartmouth Power
Station back to the Mitta Mitta River, so as to satisfy environmental requirements. Dartmouth
Regulating Dam and Power Station are owned and operated by Southern Hydro Limited, the largest
hydropower generator in Victoria.
To allow greater flexibility in their generation and hence a better response to the peaks in electricity
demand, Southern Hydro investigated the possibility of increasing the full supply level of the dam.
After an initial assessment of the economic benefits a detailed review of raising options was
undertaken, including different proprietary products and conventional spillway gates. Following this
review it was concluded that the Hydroplus System would provide the greatest benefits when all
aspects of the raising were considered, including dam safety, long term reliability, maintenance and
This paper discusses the reasons for the raising of the full supply level, the approvals process
undertaken and the technical issues addressed during the design stage, including the required
modifications to the dam and the appropriate sizing of the Hydroplus Fusegates.
D. J. Dole, D. Dreverman and A. J. McLeod
The Murray-Darling Basin Commission is embarking on an ambitious project directed towards repairing the environmental damage to the River Murray, caused by a century of human intervention. Today the River Murray is one of the more highly regulated rivers in the world, with only a 27% natural annual median flow to the sea.
In April 2002 the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council approved, in–principle, a program of structural works from Dartmouth Dam to the Murray Mouth, including the lower Darling downstream from the Menindee Lakes. The initial phase is estimated to cost $150 million over 7 years. At the same time the Council has authorised studies of the environmental, social and economic impacts of 3 scenarios involving recovery of 350 GL, 750 GL and 1500 GL per year from existing uses, for reallocation to the environment.
This paper describes some of the key projects in the portfolio of works under consideration, including:
The paper also outlines the extensive stakeholder consultation and community engagement processes which are fundamental to the success of the project, as well as the various means adopted to enhance the links between scientists and engineers involved in the project.
Brian Walford and Ross Killick
Increasing salinity in Australian river systems is a major issue that is attracting attention from politicians, environmentalists and the wider community. The successful coexistence of mining and agriculture in the Hunter Valley has resulted in the need to tackle river salinity with a cooperative approach to not only contain salinity, but also reduce it. Mining companies have participated in the development of a tradeable emission scheme to manage the discharge of surplus saline water, resulting in the construction of mine water dams that are designed to release a large volume of saline water in 2– 3 days.
Awoonga Dam is located near the town of Gladstone in central Queensland. The dam is on the Boyne River, and supplies water for domestic and industrial use in the Gladstone area. It is also used for recreation including swimming, boating, fishing, sailing and water skiing.
Awoonga Dam was completed in 1984. It has a storage capacity of 289,000Ml, and a submerged area of 3,450ha. The dominant land use in the catchment area is open grazing and includes the Mount Castle Tower National Park. A limestone quarry is also adjacent to the reservoir
The Gladstone Area Water Board (GAWB) own and operate Awoonga Dam. In 1999, the decision was made to raise the existing structure using a staged construction program.
Included in the first stage was the protection of a limestone quarry, which is operated by Frost Enterprises Pty Ltd, and is adjacent to the reservoir. The quarry would be partially inundated unless some form of protection was provided.
This paper provides an outline of the investigation undertaken, the options considered and the solution provided to protect the quarry, hereafter referred to as Frost Quarry.