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.
Bill Hakin, Peter Buchanan, Doug Connors, Darren Loidl
To allow greater flexibility in their generation and hence a better response to the peaks in electricity demand, Southern Hydro decided to increase the Full Supply Level of Dartmouth Regulatory Dam by 3.5m using labyrinth Fusegates.
The Regulating Dam is located on the Mitta Mitta River, approximately 8 km downstream of Dartmouth Dam. It 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.
Although this is the second Fusegate project in Australia it is unique in that difficult access conditions determined that construction in mild steel would be the most appropriate. Initial civil works involved construction of a flat sill to replace the Ogee spillway crest so that it could support the Fusegates. The installation contractor devised an ingenious method for installing the huge structures over the top of the gate-house which blocks direct access to the spillway. Design was very much undertaken with the installation method in mind to ensure a high quality project with minimum contractual risk.
This paper discusses the construction stage of this very interesting spillway modification.
David Snape and Brian Simmons
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:
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.
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.
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.