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 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.
A survey of spillway gate systems and operations has recently been completed by dam organisations in Nth America, Australia and New Zealand. The survey sought to identify typical arrangements for spillway gate systems and common features pertaining to reliability such as system redundancy, actuation methods and back-up systems, gate and hoist types, remote and local operation, gate testing programmes, and human factors.
Sixteen organizations responded, covering sixty two dams and nearly four hundred gates. This Paper reports on the preliminary analysis of the data, providing an overview of the industries’ approach to spillway gate operation and control.
Phillip Jordan, Rory Nathan, L. Mittiga1 M. Pearse, and Brian Taylor
There are many important dams and other structures on catchments smaller than 1000 km² with response times less than 24 hours, however these catchments have been largely overlooked in previous research into large and extreme floods. This paper is an initial step in “catching up” design practice for short duration rainfall events to the current best practice that is available for estimation of floods from rainfall events with durations of 24 hours and greater.
Two issues are specifically addressed in this paper. Firstly, a regional analysis of short duration rainfall depths is conducted to extend the frequency curve beyond an AEP of 1 in 100. Rainfall frequency curves are estimated for durations between 0.5 and 12 hours, using data from ten pluviograph sites around Australia. Secondly, sets of temporal patterns are derived that could be useful in joint probability analysis of short duration rainfall events. The effects of these new rainfall depths and temporal patterns on flood frequency curves are tested by applying them to rainfall-runoff routing models for three dams with small catchment areas.
Steven Fox and Mark Tansley
Yarrawonga Weir was constructed in the 1930’s and is located on the Victoria / New South Wales border, between the towns of Yarrawonga and Mulwala. Dam safety investigations revealed that the main embankment was founded on a very loose layer of sand that would be vulnerable to liquefaction even under the operating basis earthquake.
This paper details the statutory approvals and community consultation processes that were employed and the benefits that they provided to the $13 million remedial works project.
Local communities can assist, be neutral or obstruct a project. By engaging the community in a positive manner it is possible to deliver excellent results without increasing costs.
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.