David Ho, Karen Riddette, Michael Hogg, Jayanta Sinha and John Roberts
Blowering Dam was constructed in 1968 by the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Authority, on behalf of the Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission. It is a large earth and rockfill embankment dam, approximately 112m high and 808m long, with a concrete chute spillway at the right abutment. The reservoir holds about 1,628GL of water that is mainly for irrigation and supplying an 80MW hydro-electric power station. The dam is owned and operated by State Water Corporation, NSW.
Revisions to the design flood estimate have highlighted the dam requiring an upgrade to cope with increased discharge rates. The NSW Department of Commerce has carried out feasibility studies of different upgrade options. The need to evaluate the hydraulic performance of the existing un-gated spillway was identified. Flow overtopping the chute walls can potentially erode the backfill behind the walls, and, the rockfill on the downstream toe of the embankment. Consequently, this may lead to significant damage of the spillway and may risk the safety of the dam.
Hydraulic analysis of the spillway using a 3-D computational fluid dynamics model was performed for
various flood levels to determine the discharge coefficients and the discharge rating curve. It was also required to identify whether the chute walls need raising to contain the increased discharges. These results were compared with those calculated by other “standard” methods. Such verification provided a level of confidence in the analysis results which were then used in the studies to assess available upgrade options.
In order to have further confidence in the analysis, the computed results were validated against physical test data and some limited information from an actual discharge. Further verification against established theory was conducted by modelling a supercritical flow through a contraction in an open-channel in order to see if the computation could predict the shock wave effect that was observed in physical models as well as full scale channels. A reasonably good correlation was obtained from all validating tests.
This paper presents some background of the proposed dam upgrade, potential upgrade options considered and details of the hydraulic modelling of the spillway. Some interesting flow behaviour caused by the shock wave will be highlighted.
Changes to the Regulatory and legal environment have resulted in an increased focus on the
importance of proficient management of dams. Operation and maintenance manuals are now a
Regulatory requirement in Tasmania for all but very low hazard dams and are also required to ensure that dams are managed efficiently and safely. To meet these requirements Hydro Tasmania has developed the ‘Smart’ operations and maintenance manual.
Hydro Tasmania has a large portfolio of dams and as a result requires a large number of operations and maintenance manuals. This would result in an overwhelming array of information that is subject to evolving change if the traditional approach to the manual was adopted. To overcome this burden, a controlled electronic manual was developed to enable:
• Critical operation and maintenance information to be collated with minimal effort;
• Electronic hyperlinks to key existing operation and maintenance documents, reference
materials, and portals into operational data bases; and
• A means of updating and controlling information that is subject to change.
This paper will discuss how Hydro Tasmania developed its user-friendly operation and maintenance manuals in an innovative, unique and controlled manner to ensure prudent management of dams and to comply with Regulatory change.
P Maisano, M Taylor , M Barker and A Parsons
South Para Dam, completed in 1958, is located on the South Para River, 38 km north of Adelaide. The embankment is 45 m high and comprises compacted crushed phyllite with rockfill toes. The 13 m high rock fill toes are protected with three-stage filters but the remaining 32 m of embankment height has no downstream filter protection.
The South Australian Water Corporation (SA Water), the owner and operator of the dam, is considering modifications to the dam, to augment its flood mitigation role. The proposed works, while not affecting the full supply level, involve a modification to the spillway crest and raising of the embankment crest to accommodate increased flood levels. SA Water therefore commissioned a dam safety review to assess the need for any piping or overtopping protection that may be required. This was followed by concept designs to ensure that flood mitigation work is compatible with any required dam safety upgrade work.
The results of a detailed dam failure risk analysis using event trees showed that the Societal Risk for the existing dam needed to be reduced, and that the proposed spillway modifications increased the Societal Risk due to the increased risk of piping failure with higher flood levels.
The risk analysis showed that eliminating the overtopping modes of failure by raising the dam crest is not sufficient in itself to achieve the required reduction in risk. The provision of filter protection to reduce the risk of piping failure is required, but it was shown that it is not necessary to provide full height filters as the provision of filters only above full supply level would be sufficient to achieve the required reduction in risk.
The recommended upgrade works, in addition to the proposed spillway modification for flood mitigation purposes, consist of filter protection and a weighting fill above the top berm (4.4 m below FSL) to facilitate connection to a possible full height filter in the future, and a parapet wall to provide overtopping protection.The resulting cost saving compared with the installation of full height filters is in excess of $2 Million.
Keith Seddon, Craig Noske, Ian Duffield
This paper covers the investigation, design, construction and performance of a tailings dam at Mount
Thorley Warkworth (“MTW”), a Coal and Allied operated open-cut coal mine in the Hunter Valley, NSW.
A tailings disposal site was identified in one of the ramps through the mine-spoil piles. The “foundations” and abutments comprise uncompacted mine spoil to a depth of 40m below the haul road surface. The Stage 1 embankment at this site has a height of 70m.
The dam is a zoned rockfill embankment, constructed from mine spoil.
It was designed as a “leaky” dam. An innovative method of work packages was developed
for construction. The rockfill was delivered to the site by the mine. Spreading and compaction was carried out by a separate external contractor. Construction of the embankment was completed in a period of 5 months.
Filling of the storage commenced before the end of construction. Monitoring has included measurements of very large settlements, plus tailings level and piezometric surface. The monitoring results are presented and discussed.
David S. Bowles, Loren R. Anderson, Terry F. Glover, Sanjay S. Chauhan, Ronn S. Rose
A risk assessment was performed for the Sacramento District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to explore the justification for imposing an operating restriction on Lake Success to reduce the probability and consequences of an Earthquake-induced dam failure. The potential for both a sudden overtopping failure and a delayed “seepage erosion through cracks” failure were considered.
The risk assessment focused on the seismic performance of the dam, the potential life loss and economic consequences of Earthquake-induced dam failure, and the estimated residual risk and degree of risk-based justification for the Existing operating regime, a range of Potential Operating Restrictions, and an Indicative Improved Warning and Evacuation System. Risk assessment inputswere supported by seismic deformation analyses under various Earthquake loadings and pool elevations, dam break-inundation modelling, and reservoir simulation.
Evaluations against tolerable risk guidelines from the USBR, ANCOLD, and the UK HSE, together with insights into the relationship between pool elevation and dam failure risk, provided important inputs for the decision to implement an operating restriction.
Murray Gillon, Robin Fell, Harry Keys, M Foster
Volcanic eruptions at Mt Ruapehu in 1995-96 resulted in the deposition of about 7m of tephra over the rock rim overflow of Crater Lake. There is a long history of lahars (debris flows) associated with releases of water from Crater Lake. The 1995-96 eruptions emptied the lake and it has slowly been refilling from rainfall runoff and snow melt. When the lake level rises above the rock rim the tephra layer will act as a “barrier” or dam. Breaching of the barrier will release water and generate a lahar. The magnitude of the lahar flow will be a function of the lake level at the time of breaching
Extensive studies of the effects of the lahar that would be generated by the failure of the tephra barrier have been undertaken. The studies included a failure modes and likelihood analysis to provide information on the relative likelihood of failure as the lake level rises for the different failure modes applicable to this situation. The paper describes the failure modes considered and the results of the analysis.