Cat McConkey, Zarmina Nasir, Rachel Caoil
The Enlarged Cotter Dam (ECD) is the first major project to be assessed and approved under the new planning regime in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). ACTEW chose the ECD as its highest priority option in securing Canberra’s water supply for the future because of its relative economic benefit to the community, reliability of water supply, technical feasibility and comparatively low environmental impact.
The planning and construction of large dams has been reduced from a typical 10 plus years to four years in the ACT and surrounds for the ECD. Australian and International Dam design and construction has significantly developed from a time when dam approvals focused on engineering, economics and constructability to now include regulatory planning processes that seek to reconcile environmental, social and economic impacts.
This paper explores and contrasts the experience of securing approvals for the ECD in 2009 to past experiences of dam planning approvals and consultation processes.
Richard Herweynen, Colleen Stratford
Assessing the potential for erosion of foundation rock downstream of a spillway is a problem faced on many dams, whether new or existing. The problem is made particularly difficult not only due to the uncertainty in determining the erosion potential of the rock, but also due to the variable hydrologic characteristics of flood events.
The selected spillway option for Wyaralong Dam comprises a centrally located primary spillway with a secondary spillway located on the left abutment. A stilling basin energy dissipater is provided at the toe of the primary spillway. Downstream of the secondary spillway, an apron channel will direct flows back to the stilling basin. However, for flood events larger than the 1 in 2000 AEP event, the capacity of the secondary spillway apron is exceeded and flows spill out across the left abutment of the dam towards the river channel. Erosion of this left abutment was viewed to be a potential dam safety issue, and as such, careful consideration was required during the design stage to determine the acceptability of this spillway arrangement.
In order to provide structure to a problem which often relies solely on engineering judgment, a decision process was developed, taking into consideration some of the more definable aspects of the problem. These aspects included the geological characteristics, the initial hydraulic characteristics, the flood duration, the nature of erosion should it occur and the stability of the dam. This paper describes the decision process and methodology used at Wyaralong Dam to
determine the acceptability of erosion. This paper will present the process in a way that it can be used by others in future dam projects, both new and upgrades.
A Unique and Holistic Approach to the Erodibility Assessment of Dam Foundations
After a period of drought for many years, inflows during May and June 2009 resulted in releases from North Pine Dam. These releases resulted in deaths of fish downstream of the dam wall including lungfish. The Australian Lungfish is a protected species under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Australian Government). The events of 2009 have shown, however, that a proactive response supported by sound knowledge is required to minimise lungfish losses from flood events and other dam operations activities. A framework has been developed for the management of lungfish populations in Seqwater storages. The framework centres on a Seqwater Fish Management Policy, and four broad strategies that are considered necessary for addressing fish management in Seqwater storages: Fish Management, Storage Operations, Communication, and Research. These strategies are being used as a basis for identifying, planning and managing a range of actions designed to ensure that impacts to lungfish are minimised. Seqwater intends to develop the framework further to include long term management initiatives such as implementing viable technologies for preventing lungfish strandings, habitat protection and restoration activities that support viable lungfish populations, as well as establishing priorities for managing risks to other aquatic vertebrates in Seqwater storages, including other protected species, recreationally and commercially important species; e.g. turtles , carp, mullet, etc.
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.
Paul C. Rizzo, Ph.D., P.E.; Carl Rizzo; John Bowen
The Authors served in key roles for the design and rebuild of the Dam for the Taum Sauk Rebuild Project between 2007 and 2009. Taum Sauk is the largest RCC Dam in the United States and has a symmetrical cross-section with conventional concrete faces upstream and downstream. The curvilinear shape and the cross-section presented a number of placement issues. In addition, a large number of “Lessons” were learned because of the rapid construction schedule, highly variable temperatures, highly confined working space, numerous details related to waterstops, construction joints and crest-to-gallery drains, foundation preparation, lift maturity, bedding mixes, crack repairs and the conventional concrete upstream face. The authors discuss these issues from the perspective of the Designer, Contractor and Construction Manager.
Gavan Hunter and James Toose
Hinze Dam, located on the Gold Coast in Queensland, is an Extreme hazard storage under the authority of Seqwater (Southeast Queensland). The Stage 3 works, which are coming to completion, require raising the existing 65 m high central core earth and rockfill embankment almost 15 m to a maximum height of 80 m. The reservoir has been near full supply level for the construction period.
Numerical modelling and empirical predictive methods were used to estimate the deformation at three key embankment sections during construction; the right abutment of the main embankment, the maximum section and the main to saddle embankment connection. The results of the analysis were incorporated into the dam safety management plan to provide a framework for evaluation of the monitored deformation during construction.
This paper summarises the numerical modelling and outlines the framework of the dam safety management plan. It then compares the actual deformation measured during construction against the predictions. Overall, the modelled deformation has compared very well in terms of trend and reasonably well in terms of magnitude with the actual deformation to date. On one occasion the deformation has exceeded the estimates and triggered a response to elevate the review to higher levels within the Alliance. Concluding comments are provided on the useful aspects and limitations of the numerical modelling at Hinze Dam.