N.M. Nielsen and L.Casey
An energy and water company spends $8 million on maintenance each year. This work is defined and scheduled through a maintenance management system, part of an enterprise solution that cost the company over $2 million for licence fees, management consulting and installation.
The company has an ageing asset base and has been spending $18 million annually on capital improvements. The work activities are selected to meet safety requirements, enhance reliability, improve plant and upgrade customer service, and are defined, prioritised and scheduled on Word and Excel, which are standard applications on the desks of the company’s engineers and accountants.
This company is a composite (typical) of many in the energy and water business.
The most significant business decisions that owners usually have to make are capital spending commitments to modernise energy and water assets. To be successful, strategies have to be devised to meet the overall strategic objectives of the business, and processes adopted based on a fully functional and integrated asset planning system.
‘Aptus’ is a web-based planning application built specifically for asset intensive businesses. It enables a consistent analytical framework using engineering knowledge and the dam owner’s financial criteria, to provide new perspectives and support strategic planning and decision making with triple bottom line reporting. Aptus is a proven resource to maximize the value of the asset portfolio and sustain the business into the future.
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The Bureau of Meteorology has recently revised the Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) estimates for the Generalised Tropical Storm Method (GTSM) region of Australia. The revision process has involved the application of the more technically rigorous Generalised Southeast Australia Method (GSAM) that was previously developed for the southern part of Australia to a much larger data set of severe tropical storms. This has generally lead to an increase in the total GTSM PMP depths with a resultant increase in the Probable Maximum Precipitation Design Flood (PMPDF) and the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF).
In addition, the revision process has produced significant modifications to the temporal and spatial patterns adopted when applying the PMP depths to a dam’s catchment and these changes have also generally lead to increases in the resultant floods.
This paper discusses the rationale behind the increases in PMP depths and changes in the associated temporal and spatial patterns and presents the justification for the adoption of these more scientifically defensible estimates.
The application of the revised PMP estimates to the Keepit Dam catchment in northern NSW is presented and a comparison between the PMPDF and PMF estimates based on the original GTSM and the revised GTSM (GTSMR) made for this specific case study.
There is a widespread perception among dam engineers that tree root invasion occasions a very serious threat to embankment dams by virtue of its potential to initiate piping failure, with appropriate action invariably recommended. Remedial works can, on occasions, be extensive.
While the principle is ostensibly plausible and scarcely challenged, there has never been, to the Author’s knowledge, a satisfactory investigation to establish any credible scientific basis for it. One case that has attracted some attention in literature (by virtue of the extent of the investigation undertaken), viz a piping accident at Yan Yean Dam, is critically reviewed to show that the accepted view on the role of tree roots in this incident is less than satisfactory. In the course of this review, two physical Laws of Piping are proposed, and applied both to this case and to another nearby Melbourne Water dam that also has a history of piping.
Whilst the consequences of piping in a major dam are such that risk from this source must be kept to a very low level, it is concluded here that piping risk arising from tree root invasion has been considerably overstated and that a more balanced assessment is necessary before determining what, if any, action is required.
Gregg Barker B.E. (Hons.) GradIEAust
Dam safety emergency plans (DSEPs) are typically produced for individual dams. For owners of a large portfolio of dams, this approach creates document control difficulties, requires excessive time and effort and can lead to confusion when a single emergency affects multiple dams having individual DSEPs. Hydro Tasmania has developed a single DSEP which is applicable to its portfolio of 54 referable dams. The DSEP contains generic emergency response procedures, is applicable to a whole range of generic dam safety incidents, uses a simple colour-coded flowchart-action list format, has a two-stage emergency response, retains all necessary dam-specific information and can be easily adapted to any organisational structure. This approach was found to have benefits in document control, flexibility in the management of the emergency response and short lead time in terms of having DSEPs which cover an entire portfolio of dams.
M. Barker, T. Burt, K. McCallum-Gaul, Dr M. Barry
The disused Stapylton quarry is located in the suburbs of the Queensland Gold Coast. Gold Coast City Council, as part of the Northern Wastewater Strategy, has included the use of the quarry for storage and re-distribution of reclaimed water from the Beenleigh Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) to the downstream cane farmlands. A comprehensive EIS has been produced, which has strict water quality requirements for the quarry environs as well as the reservoir and outflow. This paper presents the background to the Northern Wastewater Strategy, the requirements for the Stapylton reservoir and the analysis performed for the detailed design of the embankment dam and the inlet bubble plume destratification system. The modelling of the destratification system was undertaken using the programme DYnamic REservoir Simulation Model (DYRESM) coupled with Computational Aquatic Ecosystems DYnamics Model (CAEDYM). The outcomes and implications of the modelling for the design and system operation including environmental monitoring are discussed.
Cold water pollution occurs downstream of many Australian dams when water is released from well below the surface layer of a stratified reservoir during spring and summer. Water temperature can be depressed by 8 °C or more and this may impact negatively upon the survival and growth of native Australian fishes.
After many years in the ‘too hard basket’, mitigation of cold water pollution below dams is receiving increasing attention in Australia. Hume Dam is a case in point. Hume Reservoir, one of the largest irrigation reservoirs in Australia, has a high throughput of water (short residence time) and receives unseasonably cold water from Dartmouth Dam on the Mitta Mitta River and the Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme on the Murray River.
The maximum possible discharge temperature below Hume Dam may be constrained by geomorphic and climatic features beyond human control. Specifically, the relatively short residence time of water may limit the extent to which it can heat up in the reservoir prior to discharge downstream. Here I present a heat budget for Lake Hume and address the question, “How much can we improve the thermal regime below Hume Dam.”