A brief overview of dam surveillance is given from a South African perspective and more specifically the perspective of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF). DWAF’s Ten Commandments for the design of dam monitoring systems serve as introduction and this is followed by a summary of the design steps. The various parameters that can be measured and the South African preferences are discussed briefly followed by a synoptic description of crack and joint monitoring in South Africa. This provides the background for DWAF’s recent developments in 3-D Crack-Tilt gauges. Some of DWAF’s achievements as well as some of the blunders made by the author during the past 30 years are illustrated by means of a few case histories.
Lawrie Schmitt and Angus Paton
As the owner of most of the large dams in South Australia the South Australian Water Corporation (SA Water) is responsible for the safety of these structures and their designed function of water supply and flood control. In order to meet these responsibilities SA Water monitors the performance of the structures using engineering deformation surveys and various forms of instrumentation. This paper outlines the instrumentation and survey monitoring undertaken at SA Water large dams and discusses the issues arising.
Jeffrey A. Schaefer, Ph.D., P.E., P.G. and David M. Schaaf, P.E.
In 2005 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) developed and implemented a Screening Portfolio Risk Assessment (SPRA) process for Dam Safety. The screening process considered loading frequency, an engineering rating to estimate a relative probability of failure, and both human life and economic consequences of failure. The results were utilized as a tool to help prioritize funding for dam safety modification projects and required studies. Three multidisciplinary cadres evaluated what was considered the worst 10% of the USACE’s dam projects in 2005 and the next worst 10% in 2006. The dams evaluated included flood control, navigation, and multi-purpose dams. Approximately seventy facilities were evaluated each year.
As a result of the aging of the USACE’s dam portfolio and the state of the art at the time of design and construction (mostly 1940’s-50’s), significant dam safety deficiencies exist at many USACE dams. This paper summarizes the major deficiencies identified from the SPRA process. Examples, including foundation seepage, karst development, embankment stability, gate deterioration, liquefiable foundations, and inadequate spillway capacity are provided along with discussion on which deficiencies contribute the greatest risk.
G. Hunter, R. Fell, S. McGrath
The main embankment at Tullaroop Reservoir is a 42m high zoned earth and rockfill dam that was constructed in the late 1950s. The constructed embankment has a very broad, well compacted clay earthfill zone with dumped rockfill on the mid to lower upstream and downstream shoulders.
Over a two week period in April 2004 a diagonal crack of 60mm width and greater than 2m depth developed on the downstream shoulder of the main embankment. The crack was located on the left abutment and extended from the crest to the toe of the embankment. The diagonal crack terminated at the downstream edge of the crest. A continuous longitudinal crack extended along the downstream edge of the crest from the diagonal crack almost to the left abutment. Since April 2004 no further widening of the diagonal crack has been observed.
This paper presents the findings of a series of site investigations and analysis to understand the mechanism for formation of the diagonal crack, and the risk assessment process that culminated in the eventual construction of a full height filter buttress on the left abutment of the main embankment. Factors that influenced the cracking included the change in slope in the foundation profile, the temporary diversion channel on the left abutment, residual stresses in the dam abutment due to differential settlement during construction, a complex foundation geology and presence of shear surfaces in a Tertiary alluvial sequence that formed due to valley formation, an historic dry period and a prolonged period of drawdown. The presence of the crack and its assessed mechanism of formation presented a dam safety risk of piping through the embankment. The risk evaluation process was worked through with URS, Goulburn-Murray Water (G-MW), and G-MW’s expert panel, and eventuated in construction of the localised filter buttress in February – March 2006 to address the dam safety deficiency.
Karen Riddette, David Ho & Julie Edwards
Over the last five years in Australia, the use of computational fluid dynamics for the investigation of waterflows through hydraulic structures has been steadily rising. This modelling technique has been successfully applied to a range of dam upgrade projects, helping to assess spillway discharge capacity and structural integrity, and giving insight into flow behaviours including orifice flow, shock wave formation and chute overtopping (Ho et al, 2006). Innovative and cost effective upgrade solutions have been implemented from numerical model studies including baffle plates (Maher and Rodd, 2005) and locking arrangements to protect radial gates from extreme floods.
This paper will begin with a review of recent dam engineering applications, including outlet flow through a fish screen, the performance of a fishway against hydraulic and environmental criteria and pipe flow in a large pumping station. Some of the difficulties and limitations of the modelling technique will be examined together with current research being conducted to address these issues and further validate the numerical results against published data. Some interesting results to date will be reported on elliptical crest discharge, boundary geometry, and model/prototype correlation.
With increasing computing power and software enhancements, the potential applications for numerical simulation in dam engineering continue to grow. This paper will also examine the future outlook and highlight some recent advances such as the thermal simulation of cold water pollution, air entraining flows and combined free-surface and pipe flow in a morning glory spillway.
We can all learn by our mistakes and the experience of others. This paper seeks to look at three incidents/accidents which recently occurred in the UK so that others can learn from them. The paper then seeks to answer the question as to whether we are improving in looking after our dams in the UK in respect of reservoir safety.