The main iron ore body at Cockatoo Island in the West Kimberleys forms a cliff face plunging steeply into the sea. It was mined by BHP down to low tide level, but the tidal range of 10 metres hampered operations. Being a very pure and sought after ore, various investigations were made to determine methods of extracting the ore below the sea. A coffer dam into the sea was investigated with the conclusion that the soft marine sediments and apparent artesian groundwater in the foundation posed a major risk and high costs.
The mine was sold to a smaller company who proceeded to win useful ore from the island. They also eyed off the undersea ore and approached GHD to use soft ground technology developed for the Derby Tidal Power Project. The soft marine sediments and apparent artesian groundwater conditions were investigated.
The paper describes the design processes involved to achieve dam stability in a space limited by lease boundaries and the desire to maximise the amount of ore that could be accessed. A key to the process was the development of construction techniques and core placement procedures that could cope with the tidal range. Timing aspects were crucial and were controlled by observations of an extensive array of instruments installed for control purposes.
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Sydney Catchment Authority (SCA) has been progressively enhancing its asset management capability for dams and other headworks infrastructure since 1999. A key to the development of the integrated asset management system has been the application of asset condition assessment and Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) across the water supply mechanical and electrical assets. This has provided vital data necessary to:
• Identify all the mechanical and electrical assets
• Update the computerised maintenance management system database (MAXIMO)
• Determine asset criticality against a range of factors
• Allow review and rationalisation of maintenance work plans
• Upgrade the System Management Plans
Asset management features as a key result area within the SCA’s Corporate Business Plan. Integrated asset management is achieved by cascading corporate outcomes, strategies, objectives and responsibilities down through divisional and team work plans to individual staff members. This paper covers a range of issues that have a bearing on the day-to-day integrity of the infrastructure required to deliver bulk raw water to the SCA’s customers.
The management of maintenance at Warragamba Dam is used as an example to demonstrate the effectiveness and practicality of the application of the contemporary asset management system.
Alan K Parkin
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.
This paper discusses reliability issues of the fourteen 3.85m high by 7.89m wide radial gates at Glenmaggie Dam in Victoria and the twin 3.6m high by 16.5m wide drum gates at Little Nerang Dam in Queensland. The Glenmaggie dam radial gates are manually controlled using electrically driven (mains and diesel generator power supply) hoist motors with a petrol driven hydraulic pack for use in the event of complete electrical power supply failure. A detailed fault tree analysis was developed for the spillway gate reliability of the Glenmaggie Dam gates as part of the risk assessment for the dam, which was being completed at the time of publishing the paper. Each of the identified components of the spillway gates, including human error in operation was used to evaluate the probability of failure of a single gate or multiple gates for inclusion in the event tree to estimate the risk and assist the evaluation of the requirement for remedial works. The Little Nerang drum gates are fully automatic hydraulically operated gates with independent operating mechanics and a common override system in the event of automatic system failure. Drum gates are uncommon on dams and the system operation is discussed together with an assessment of the reliability and measures taken for handling operating risks during floods for the dam, which has some stability concerns.
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.”
This paper provides an insight into the management of reservoirs under drought conditions within the new water management frameworks established under the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Water Reforms. Traditional approaches to the sharing of available supplies during drought are no longer appropriate as the roles of the resource regulator, infrastructure operator, and Government have been separated in the interests of providing certainty for water users and the environment. Recent experiences during drought in the Upper Mary River system near Gympie in Queensland has demonstrated the need to ensure the robustness of water sharing rules for reservoirs under the new framework if certainty is to be delivered.