Eric J Lesleighter and Peter F Foster
The Ross River Dam was constructed in 1974 following design by the State Government, including hydraulic model testing, by SMEC. The maximum spillway discharge at that time was 1100 m3/s.Latterly, the dam and spillway have come up for a comprehensive review given that the dam is in an extreme hazard category because of its location only a short distance upstream of the city ofTownsville. The revised hydrology has produced outflow hydrographs peaking at over 4 000 m3/s –more than three and a half times the original – to be passed through the 130 ft (39.62 m) widespillway.
The paper describes the hydraulic modelling planned and carried out to determine changes needed to handle such high discharges. The modelling was to provide for the installation of radial gates and piers, and study of the water level, pressure and dissipation conditions in the dissipator for several key discharges through the range to PMF. Pressure measurements included transients, consideration of the potential for uplift of the basin floor slabs, the integrity of the walls to handle the differential loads, and, as a major consideration, the energy conditions in the flow exiting the dissipator and the integrity of the rock downstream to avoid erosion.Each of these aspects will be addressed in the paperboth from the modelling and interpretation standpoint and from the civil structural analysis standpoint, together with a description of the strengthening works required to achieve a satisfactory outcome.
SunWater has completed a portfolio risk assessment (PRA) on its 25 major dams and has identified a number of dams that do not currently satisfy the ANCOLD fallback position on spillway capacity. It has taken an initiative to target these dams for spillway upgrades to ultimately achieve the ANCOLD fallback standard and has prioritised these upgrades in a preliminary program for action in the short to medium term.
As background to this PRA, SunWater has developed and implemented a dam safety program which has successfully updated all necessary flood hydrology and dam break analyses and reassessed the consequences and hazards associated with dam failures. It has also completed within the last eight years, dam safety reviews on all its dams in preparation for a comprehensive risk assessment process which is now well in-hand. This process will identify and evaluate all other risks, in addition to floods, that should be addressed or at least considered in the planning and design of these spillway capacity upgrades.
This paper describes SunWater’s experience and approach to PRA and discusses the controlling factors considered in prioritisation. It shows the results and trends of a number of risk ranking methods, provides details of the current level of societal risks in respect of the ANCOLD tolerability limits and outlines SunWater’s current strategy for the timing and staging of spillway upgrades to achieve compliance and an optimum level of risk reduction.
Paul Hurst, Michael Smith
Wellington Dam is an extreme hazard concrete gravity dam located on the Collie River approximately 170km south of Perth. Originally constructed to a height of 19m in 1933, the dam was raised to its present height of 34m in 1960 by placing significant additional concrete against the downstream face of the original dam. To ensure a lasting bond along the interface between the original and secondary concrete, an open slot was formed and later grouted once the temperature of the secondary concrete was similar to that of the original dam.
A recently completed stability analysis identified that Wellington Dam falls well short of contemporary dam engineering standards for flood loading. Several assumptions were made during the preliminary analysis relating to concrete shear strength parameters, bonding between the original and secondary concrete and drain effectiveness that generated a significant range of results. On this basis, further investigation was carried out to define the concrete parameters and drain condition at Wellington Dam.
Exploratory drilling found that Wellington Dam is cracked from the upper gallery through to the downstream face. The drilling programme also confirmed that the interface between the original and secondary concrete has become unbonded and that the gravity dam is behaving like an unbonded short composite beam. The mechanism causing the observed behaviour of Wellington Dam can largely be explained by external temperature effects and Alkali Aggregate Reaction, (AAR).
This paper explores the techniques used to investigate the condition of the concrete and illustrates the relationship between concrete behaviour and temperature and AAR effects within a composite concrete gravity dam
Robert Virtue, Deryk Forster, Jon Williams and Sabina Fahrner
Basic pre-construction foundation investigations for the Ross River Dam were done in the late ‘60s to early ‘70s but a more detailed hydrogeological assessment was carried out to investigate and manage water logging and salinity, which developed immediately downstream in the late 1970s.
As part of the 2005 Stage 2 to 5 upgrade design, detailed conceptual and numerical hydrogeological modelling was required to predict aquifer response along the embankment and downstream. This required “data mining” and additional drilling and aquifer testing to fill in data gaps, with the filtered and re-interpreted data used to build a 3D conceptual model of the embankment and underlying geology, by a design team comprising specialist hydrogeologists, geologists, geotechnical and damsengineers. This was converted to a 10-layer, 2-million cell numerical model, to enable high-resolution modelling of groundwater behaviour for a range of aquifer properties, flood hydrographs and seepage management options. As well as a design tool, the model is a valuable monitoring tool in confirming the performance of seepage management systems and to provide early warning of seepage management failures.
The study emphasised the need to capture data for a wide range in aquifer stress, to have simple preliminary spreadsheet models to provide a “sanity check” and to collect data away from the embankment to allow a 3D interpretation of the geology, to the assumption of “layer cake” models.
“Off-river” storage, Bootawa Dam, receives water pumped from the Manning River to supply a
regional water scheme on the mid-north coast of NSW.
As part of drought planning, short term predictive modelling of future streamflow has been developed
from an analysis of the last 30 years of recorded flow data and “on-line” upstream river gauges.
In the longer view, a comparison was made of th e last 30 years of recorded flow with an analysis of
the previous 80 years of synthetic flow data. There is a downward trend in streamflow in the last 25
years. Is this likely to continue, or is it part of a cycle or some other factor?
Long term fluctuations in the Southern Oscillation Index are compared to rainfall for this region.
Estimates of sustainable yield of the scheme are dependant on many factors, including environmental flows, dam size, turbidity constraints, river pump transfer capacity, river loss, catchment rural demand, accuracy of streamflow data and future climate change.
The affect of each of these factors has been quantified and ranked according to their importance on
Don Macfarlane; Nick Eldred; Sigi Keis
Project Aqua was planned to be a major hydropower development along the lower Waitaki Valley, New Zealand. Geotechnical investigations for the project were conducted in two main stages – from the late 1970’s to mid-1980’s, and again in the period from 2002 to 2004.
Community consultation was an important part of the 2002-2004 investigations, and was a key risk management issue for Meridian Energy. The proposed scope of the work included 512 drillholes and 734 test pits spread along the 60km project corridor. All proposed drillholes and test pits were subject to the Resource Management Act 1991 and needed Resource Consent applications, which required consultation with landowners, territorial authorities, and community and cultural groups including three Maori tribes.
A number of proposed investigations could not be undertaken because the landowner would not allow land access, but over 70% of the proposed work was completed with community support.