Marius Jonker, Mike Taylor and Glen Hobbs
Abstract: One of the activities authorized by organizations such as ANCOLD is the development of guidelines to enhance the ability of organizations to assure that adequate dam safety programs and practices are in place.
However, due to the absence of a single recognized guideline covering the various design aspects of dam outlet works, there is currently great inconsistency in the underlying principles for design and review processes for these facilities. A single, nationally recognized “standard” would lead to greater consistency between similar project designs, facilitate more effective and consistent review of proposed designs, and result in increased potential for safer more reliable facilities.
The need for a design standard is further underscored by the fact that poorly designed and/or constructed outlet works have been identified as a significant contributor to the occurrence of embankment dam failures. The failure of critical components in the outlet works of dams, not leading to an uncontrolled release of water, is generally considered less important due to apparent lesser consequences compared with a dam failure. However, the drought experienced over the past decade in Australia has highlighted the value of water and securing it for the future. The potential impact caused by the inability of a primary storage to supply a town or city, due to a failure in the outlet works, potentially affecting thousands of people and industries, could be devastating.
This paper summarises the current state of practice with regard to outlet works for dams concerning design, construction, inspection and evaluation, as well as maintenance and renovation. It also underlines some commonly occurring deficiencies encountered at existing dams. It provides a basis for further discussions of the state of practice for these topics in order to work towards consistent and unified outlet works design guidelines for dams.
Keywords: outlet works, state of practice, design guidelines
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Abstract: Recent studies in SE Queensland for existing and proposed dams and other flood studies have highlighted a number of issues with respect to the design event approach in deriving and applying design rainfalls to calibrated runoff routing models.
The estimation of design rainfall depths for frequent to large events is usually done by the intensity-frequent-durations (IFD) methods outlined in Australian Rainfall and Runoff (AR&R) or CRC-Forge.
The design temporal patterns applied to these rainfall depths are critical in the estimation of design floods as are the adopted loss rates.
This paper describes the methods used to derive the design rainfall and some of the issues which arose in their application in the design event approach to assessing design floods. It uses examples at several locations in studies undertaken by SunWater and refers to similar issues encountered in other studies.
Implications for flood studies are outlined.
Keywords: design rainfall, design floods, CRC-FORGE, IFD, temporal patterns, SunWater, Queensland.
James Willey, Malcolm Barker, Javad Tabatabaei
Abstract: During successive flood events from the end of construction of Googong Dam in 1978 through to the late 1980s, erosion of in excess of 5,000 m³ of rock occurred in the partially unlined section at the downstream end of the spillway channel. Remedial works were undertaken in stages during the 1980s to stabilise the eroded chute and limit further erosion. A project is currently underway as part of the Bulk Water Alliance to construct remedial works in the spillway to repair erosion damage and increase the spillway capacity to safely pass the current estimate of the Probable Maximum Flood. The design was undertaken by GHD Pty Ltd as part of a separate engagement prior to the formation of the Alliance.
The recent work involved a review of the historical performance and prediction of future performance of the structure. A process involving the development and comparison of options and ultimately the detailed design of the preferred arrangement followed, including refinement and validation using a physical hydraulic model study.
This paper presents risk assessment techniques used throughout the project on a range of tasks including prediction of future spillway erosion damage and comparison of spillway remedial works options, assessment of construction flood risk and definition of instrumentation requirements for the dam and associated structures.
Keywords: risk assessment, remedial works, spillway erosion, rock erosion, construction risk, instrumentation.
David Brett, Ben Hanslow. Rob Longey
Abstract: Mine tailings storages are among the largest man made structures in the world and often pose a considerable risk to the aquatic environment due to the nature of the stored materials. In particular, sulphide minerals are prone to oxidation when brought into contact with air and water. This leads to the formation of acidic conditions within the storages leading to dissolution of toxic metals, with seepage from these structures being known as Acid Rock Drainage (ARD). ARD is responsible for pollution of natural waterways in many areas of the world with some significant examples in Australia. Current practice in the mining industry is to attempt to exclude oxygen or water from tailings storages in order to prevent the oxidation process taking place. This involves capping of the storages with sophisticated soil covers or, where sufficient water is available, leaving a permanent water cover.
Mining operations have a relatively short life, usually around 5 to 10 years, although some can operate for over 100 years, as has the Mount Lyell Mine. Normal practice has been for companies to relinquish the mining lease on the cessation of mining, however governments are now realising the extent of liability involved with the “ownership” of large waste storage facilities. Bonds are placed by mining companies during operations, intended to cover the cost of “closure” of the mine. Often the major item covered by the bond is for the “closure” of the tailings storage facility. Following “closure”, the intention is that ownership of the lease, including waste storages, reverts to the State. State governments are now more aware of the potential liabilities in accepting the relinquishment of these leases and need to address the issues of their long-term management.
In Tasmania, Dam Safety legislation covers both water and also soil covered tailings storages, with the legislation requiring each type to meet various ANCOLD guidelines. In other jurisdictions this could well also be the case through common law requirements to meet common best practice. However, the current ANCOLD Guidelines are generally written around water storage dams and interpretation to include a waste storage facility is often not straightforward. As an example a tailings dam during operations with a water storage component is clearly a dam. Due to the environmental impact of failure it could well have a Significant or High-C hazard rating, which would require design for extreme floods and earthquakes. After closure, with say a soil cover and water diverted away, is it still a dam within an ANCOLD definition? Are ANCOLD guidelines relevant? The current ANCOLD (1998) Guidelines on Tailings Dam Design, Construction and Operation does not give specific guidance on these issues.
This paper explores these questions and suggests ways that ANCOLD could provide assistance with more guidance on the long term management aspect of tailings storages to assist designers, owners and regulators consider the closure phase.
Keywords: tailings, acid drainage, mine closure
Brett J Heppermann
Abstract: As one of the main federal agencies with responsibility to build, operate, and maintain large dams in the United States, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is developing a risk based framework to better manage their portfolio of 600+ dams in terms of risk management and prioritization of funding. A key element to this effort is the development of risk-based analytical tools to evaluate primary features for applicable failure modes. These are used in conjunction with loading and consequence modules to assess the overall risk associated with the dam in terms of lives and economic damages. The focus of this paper is on the analytical tool being created for evaluating the probability of an uncontrolled reservoir release due to scour of concrete lined stilling basins and spillways.
This analysis module is broken down by potential failure modes that could initiate events that could lead to an uncontrolled release. The failure modes that are considered are Cavitation, Slab Uplift and Foundation Erosion, Ball Milling, Tunnel/Conduit Failure, Plunge Pool Erosion, Fuse Plug and Fuse Gate Failure, Hydraulic Loading and Profile, and Headcutting. Each failure mode analysis takes into account how the inlet structure, conveyance, and terminal structure is affected, if at all.
This paper gives and overview of the main characteristics of each failure mode and the methods used to quantify the risk associated with each.
Keywords: risk based analytical tools, concrete scour, spillway, stilling basin, risk assessment, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Abstract: Queensland’s regions need additional water supply infrastructure to underpin the future economic growth of the state, and secure the water supplies of existing communities in light of climate variability.
Queensland’s economy has consistently been the fastest growing of all the States for the last decade. The major component of Queensland’s growth is underpinned by resources and industry, in regional areas of the State. If the enabling infrastructure is absent, or if timeframes for development do not align with the needs of the industry, this growth will be constrained, or will go elsewhere. Future investments that support growth cannot and will not occur without certainty around the availability of future water supply.
Queensland’s regions are emerging from the worst drought in recorded history, this has revealed serious deficiencies in the resilience of our regional water supplies. For the first time in living memory, major regional centres have been forced to face the prospect of running out of water.
The Queensland Government has been proactive in identifying these issues and has responded resolutely through the release of Statewide Water Policy which supports a $451 million investment in regional water infrastructure, which aims to meet the needs of urban and rural users.
As part of this policy SunWater has been named proponent for a range of projects considered essential for Queensland’s future economic sustainability which include the Nathan Dam on the Dawson River, Water for Bowen & Proserpine Pipeline Projects, Rookwood Weir & Eden Bann Weir Raising (with RRC & GAWB), Connors River Dam & Pipelines, Nullinga Dam and Kinchant Dam Raising. SunWater is also investigating the raising of Queensland’s largest dam, Burdekin Dam. This paper will outline the need for water supply infrastructure within regional Queensland, and the challenges faced by the projects being progressed by SunWater including the technical issues, environmental sustainability and approvals, and commercial development challenges.
Keywords: Queensland, Water Supply Infrastructure, Dams