Ben Greentree, David Bamforth, Matthew O’Rourke and James Willey
A series of relatively small floods occurring between end of construction in 1978 and late 1980s caused extensive and dramatic rock erosion to the very steep unlined section of the Googong Dam spillway. Following a review of hydraulic performance at larger floods, the spillway’s future erosion potential was evaluated and it became clear that extensive remedial work was required. A detailed design was developed comprising the retro-fitting of a full concrete-lined chute, the raising and extension of the spillway chute walls, strengthening of the upstream training walls and excavation of a large plunge pool. The Googong Dam has an ANCOLD hazard rating of ‘extreme’ because of its location upstream of Queanbeyan and Canberra.
In early 2008, the Bulk Water Alliance (BWA), comprising ACTEW Corporation Ltd, (in cooperation with ActewAGL) (the Owner), GHD Pty Ltd (the Designer) and Abigroup Contractors Pty Ltd in joint venture with John Holland Pty Ltd (the Constructors) was formed to deliver a package of water security projects for the ACT, one of which is the Googong Dam Spillway Upgrade.
After preparation of a construction methodology and target outturn cost (TOC), the project was approved by the Actew Board and construction commenced in February 2009. Completion is due in late 2010. A number of significant geotechnical, structural and logistical challenges were encountered during construction, resulting in major changes to the construction methodology necessitating design changes. The changes were incorporated within the original TOC, without instigating scope change contractual claims and while still maintaining spillway functionality in line with Owner operational requirements.
This paper presents delivery phase challenges that necessitated construction methodology and design changes to achieve best for project outcomes; how these challenges were overcome through genuine innovation reliant on a collaborative effort by all the Alliance partners; and how the contractual framework of the Alliance was essential for the change management process to be successful.
Jared Deible, John Osterle, Charles Weatherford, Tom Hollenkamp, Matt Frerking
The original rockfill dike, constructed in 1963 to form the Upper Reservoir at the Taum Sauk Pump Storage Project near Lesterville, MO failed on December 14, 2005. The Upper Reservoir has been completely rebuilt as a 2.83 million cubic yard (2.16 million cubic meters) Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) Dam in compliance with FERC Regulations. The project is the largest RCC project constructed in the USA and is the first pumped storage project to utilize an RCC water retaining structure. The project is owned and operated by AmerenUE and consists of an Upper Reservoir and a Lower Reservoir connected by a vertical shaft, rock tunnel, and penstock. The Powerhouse has two pump-turbines with a total generation capacity of 450MW.
A refill plan was developed to monitor the performance of the dam during the first refill. Because it is a pumped storage project with no natural inflow, the reservoir level can be raised and lowered with reversible pump turbines. The refill plan includes hold points when the dam s performance will be assessed at eight reservoir levels. Monitoring of the performance of the dam is done through instrumentation readings and visual inspections. Inspections check for alignment changes, leakage, seepage, cracking, or any other unusual or changed conditions. Instrumentation monitored during the refill program includes piezometers, seepage weirs, survey monuments, and joint meters. The level control system for the project was also evaluated during the refill program. This paper summarizes the monitoring and inspections conducted during the refill and the performance of the dam during this period, and the performance of the dam during the initial period after the refill program.
Kristen Sih, Peter Hill, Susan Ryan, Siraj Perera
Although ANCOLD provides guidance on good dam safety practices, in Australia it is the State and Territory Governments’ role to protect the public from dam safety incidents and in many cases these jurisdictions have legally binding regulations in place that dam owners must adhere to. This paper presents a comparative analysis of the dam safety regulations currently in place for Australian states, as well as selected international jurisdictions. The limit of applicability of the regulations, number of dams regulated, content of the regulations and powers and responsibilities of the regulator are all compared. It was found that there is a large range within each of these categories with regulatory approaches varying from light-handed and objective based, to highly prescriptive. The extent to which risk management principles are used in the regulations for each jurisdiction has also been investigated. It was found that in jurisdictions where higher hazard category dams account for a higher proportion of dams being regulated, risk analysis is included in the regulations. Finally, the ANCOLD societal risk criteria and ALARP considerations have been compared and contrasted with those from international jurisdictions and other hazardous industries.
David Ryan, Sean Fleming
The Connors River Dam and Pipeline Project comprises the construction of a 367,540 ML storage on the Connors River located in central Queensland and a 130 km pipeline capable of delivering annually 49,500 ML of high priority water to the rapidly expanding Central Queensland Coalfields. The dam also has the capacity to supply water for the downstream agricultural sector.
Key outcomes of SunWater’s recent business case investigations included the identification of a strategy that would deliver the project in parallel with the construction programs currently being developed by the coal mining sector, the delivery of a quality product with high certainty cost and the ability to supply water at a commercially attractive rate. Construction activity is currently scheduled to commence in mid 2011, with commissioning of the works early 2014.
The paper outlines the project details, the design features of the dam and pipeline and the contract strategy adopted in an attempt to deliver the project on time and within budget.
Keywords: Roller Compacted Concrete, Early Contractor Involvement, Design and Construction.
Gavan Hunter and Robin Fell
Earthfill embankments in Australia have been widely used in dam construction since the start of the 20th century replacing the older puddle type and concrete corewall embankment designs. Most Australian dam portfolios will have one or more of these embankment types. A key component to the dam safety assessment of these dams is understanding their deformation behaviour, in particular the assessment of the future performance of these structures as they now reach ages of 40 to 80 years or more.
This paper presents the findings of a study on the deformation behaviour of earthfill embankments. It draws on a database of 54 case studies from mainly Australia, the United States and Europe. It is a component of a broader study on the deformation behaviour of embankment dams undertaken as a research project at University of New South Wales earlier this decade.
The data presented in this paper allows dam owners and their consultants to compare the deformation behaviour of their dam to the performance of other similar earthfill dams in evaluating dam safety. Typical patterns of deformation behaviour are presented and guidance is provided on identifying trends in deformation behaviour that are assessed as “abnormal” and that may be potentially indicative of marginal stability.
Jim Walker, Sergio Vallesi, Neil Sutherland, Peter Amos, Tim Mills
The Tekapo Canal is a 26km long hydropower canal owned by Meridian Energy Ltd in New Zealand. Completed in 1976, the canal is 40m wide, 7m deep and has a capacity of 120m3/s. The canal was constructed from compacted local glacial soils with a compacted silt lining sourced from till deposits.
During 2007 and 2008 the canal showed signs of leakage where it crossed over a twin barrel culvert structure. In October 2008 a diver inspection identified depressions and sinkholes on the invert of the canal above the culvert. Approximately 6m3 of silty gravel lining material had settled. Testing showed direct and rapid connections between lining defects and seepage outflows at the culvert outlet headwall. Subsequent ground penetrating radar survey confirmed the presence of voids above the culvert barrels. Diver placed filling of the defects with granular materials was immediately implemented, and a series of remedial actions over the next four months were required to arrest deterioration and enable the canal to remain operational.
The paper describes the initial response to this situation and the immediate measures taken to prevent failure. It also describes the medium term and ongoing measures implemented to maintain the safety of the canal while permanent remediation requirements are assessed. The lessons learned from this event, and their impacts on Meridian’s Dam Safety Assurance Programme (DSAP) are also discussed.
Immediate response measures included ongoing filling of lining defects with filter gravel, intensive land based and diver surveillance of the canal, planning and resourcing for emergency contingency actions in the event that a risk of breach developed. Medium term measures included arresting leakage by placing a low permeability blanket of silty gravel over the damaged area using a concrete pump, and constructing external buttresses capable of safely withstanding large discharges should deterioration of the canal structure occur.
These short and medium term remedial measures were completed with the canal full and in operation and continue to perform well 20 months later. Continuing risk mitigation measures include enhanced surveillance and monitoring (land based and using divers), localised treatment of defects, as well as ongoing monitoring and review of the Dam Safety management regime and sustained Emergency Management preparedness.