Shane McGrath, Andrew Reynolds, Garry Fyfe, Chris Kelly, Steven Fox
Goulburn-Murray Water is a rural water corporation located in Northern Victoria. It has responsibility for 12 State dams and is also the constructing authority for the Murray Darling Basin Authority’s Victorian assets.
Over the past 15 years G-MW has been engaged in a dam improvement program across its portfolio. To date 14 individual projects have been undertaken at 11 dams. The total expenditure is $125 million.
Starting from a base level of data at its inception in 1997, the program has encompassed all facets required for a dam improvement program. From early prioritisation to set the investigation program, through design reviews and risk assessments to develop the upgrading program and subsequent implementation. Some elements of the program were at the leading edge of practice at the time and a range of experiences along the way were character building as dam safety investment challenged other corporate priorities.
This paper sets out the lessons learned in developing the methodology and implementing the program of works, particularly relating to corporate adoption of the program, organisational capability, investigations, risk assessments, design and implementation.
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M C N Taylor, Dr H E Cherrill, S F Croft, S F Eldridge
The Stuart Macaskill Lakes are two raw water storage lakes with a combined storage of approximately 3280 ML supplying Wellington City, New Zealand. The lakes are High Potential Impact Category (PIC) earth embankment dams constructed on terrace gravel deposits adjacent to the Hutt River and located within approximately 20 to 50 metres of the Wellington Fault Deformation Zone. Construction of the lakes began in 1982 and they were commissioned in 1985.
In early 2008, the lake’s owner Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), embarked on a programme to supplement Wellington City’s water supply storage. Whilst that study is ongoing, GWRC engaged Tonkin & Taylor (T&T) to investigate the feasibility of increasing the Stuart Macaskill Lakes capacity as an interim measure.
The feasibility study concluded in late 2009 that the lake dam embankments could be raised by up to 1.3 metres in height to gain an approximate additional 450 ML of water storage. An important finding of that feasibility study has been that the seismic requirements have increased significantly since the construction of the lakes. To address this issue GWRC is currently constructing Stage Two of a two stage construction programme to both raise the lakes and to incorporate seismic resistant features into the lakes.
The primary design features are downstream rock buttressing in the critical areas of the lakes and synthetic lining the inside of the lake embankments. The buttressing works were completed in early 2011 and the lining and crest raising works are due for completion in 2013.
This paper summarises the design, laboratory testing and construction to enhance the lakes performance during very strong seismic accelerations (Peak Ground Accelerations of up to 1.08g) expected during a maximum design earthquake originating from the Wellington Fault.
Keywords: Water Reservoir, Seismic Design, Geomembrane, Rock Buttressing, Seismic Risk Assessment, Wellington Fault
Nicole Anderson, M. Tooley, N. Vitharana, D. Moore
There is a significant stock of aging concrete dams in Australia which do not meet the requirements of modern dam safety practices. Where no site-specific information exists, current practice requires unduly simplified, conservative assumptions to be made. In some cases, this results in theoretical dam failure for load conditions which the dam has already experienced and safely withstood.
This paper outlines a range of site-specific field and laboratory investigations undertaken to reduce uncertainties in the assessment of two concrete gravity dams. For one dam, a suite of lab tests was undertaken to determine the residual reactivity so that potential future Alkaline-Aggregate Reaction induced expansion can be incorporated into any upgrade design.
The main purpose of the investigations was to reduce inherent uncertainties surrounding the design assumptions for strength and uplift pressures. This in turn reduced uncertainties relating to the risk profile of the dams.
The findings of this investigation will be of interest to dam designers and owners faced with upgrading concrete dams where a single traditional assumption can result in the difference between no upgrade or an upgrade worth several million dollars.
Keywords: Concrete gravity dams, testing, upgrade, Alkali Aggregate Reaction, dam design guidelines.
Barton Maher, Michel Raymond, Mike Philips
The Queensland Bulk Water Supply Authority (trading as Seqwater) owns and operates North Pine Dam, situated on the North Pine River in the Northern Suburbs of Brisbane. North Pine Dam is an Extreme Hazard Dam consisting of a concrete gravity dam with earthfill embankments at both abutments and three earthfill saddle dams. The spillway consists of five radial gates which are manually operated. Flood operations at the dam are controlled in real time by the Seqwater Flood Operations Centre.
In January 2011, North Pine Dam experienced the flood of record at the dam site with a peak inflow of approximately 3,500 m3/s and a corresponding outflow of approximately 2,850 m3/s. This inflow was more than double the previously recorded flood of record. The inflow was generated by high intensity rainfall both at the dam and in the upper catchment resulting in a rapid rise of the storage. The system which caused this rainfall was also contributing to the major flooding occurring in the adjacent Wivenhoe – Somerset catchment, also being managed by the Seqwater Flood Operations Centre. The rapid rise and fall of the storage presented difficulties for both the Seqwater Flood Operations Centre and the operators at the dam site.
Following the flood event, an analysis of the rainfall and the resulting inflows indicated a significant difference between the Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) of the rainfall in the catchment and the estimated AEP of the inflow and peak water levels from previous hydrology studies. A detailed review of the flood event was commissioned by Seqwater and undertaken by URS Australia Pty Ltd.
This paper presents details of the flood event, lessons learned for the operation of the dam, upgrade works undertaken to date, results of the hydrology review and the conclusions of the Acceptable Flood Capacity (AFC) study. A key implication for dam owners was the increase in the estimate of the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) by over 30% due to changes in calibration of the hydrologic model for the catchment.
Keywords: Probable Maximum Flood, Flood Operations, North Pine Dam, Flood Estimation
The design of tailings dams under earthquake loading is quite challenging due to the nature of the tailings materials which are generally liquefiable under earthquake shaking. The design will be more complicated when the dam foundation is also liquefiable material. While assessment of liquefaction potentials is well developed in practice, assessment of liquefaction induced deformation varies from the simplest Newmark’s displacement method to the more complex effective stress dynamic analysis approach. It is generally accepted that the simplified method can be used for cases involving non-liquefiable materials. However, the use of this method for cases involving liquefaction may generally result in overly conservative designs to cater for the many simplified
assumptions in the method. With the advance of computer technology, time and cost are no longer obstacles for using the more appropriate method for estimating liquefaction-induced deformations of a tailings dams and achieving an optimum dam design.
This paper attempts to critically discuss issues in seismic design of tailings dams and provide an example of the use of the effective stress dynamic analysis method to estimate the liquefaction-induced deformations of a tailings dam and its importance in optimizing the design. The approach used is capable of estimating pore pressure response of liquefiable materials at any given time during the shaking. The effective stress analysis method used herein is embedded in FLAC software using a specially written FISH routine. Using this method, it can be demonstrated that although liquefaction is an issue, it does not necessarily mean that we must prevent its occurrence. As long as the deformation is acceptable, liquefaction is not necessarily a ‘show stopper’ for the project.
Keywords: liquefaction, seismic deformation, tailings dam design.
The Enlarged Cotter Dam project was selected as a key component in securing the future water supply for Canberra and the ACT region. The RCC gravity dam, when completed, will stand 84m high and will be the largest of its kind in Australia.
The dam was designed, and is currently being constructed, under the Alliance contract model. The collaboration this model brings between the owner and the design and construction teams facilitated a drive in innovation from the design through to the construction stages of the project. The focus of this paper is on some of the key innovative aspects of the project, for consideration on future RCC and dam projects.
Investigation was made into the placement of RCC in 400mm layers, compared to the industry adopted standard of placement in 300mm thick layers. Whilst full scale trials demonstrated that placement in 400mm thick layers was not detrimental to the quality of the RCC, the benefits in terms of increased production were never fully realised due to adverse weather and the geometry of the dam placement area. Some issues were also encountered with regards to the compaction of the GERCC on the dam faces. The results do however suggest that the method warrants consideration on future RCC projects.
The construction of the dam’s secondary spillway included a waterstop installation in a constrained RCC placement zone. By developing an arrangement that could hold the waterstop in place and induce the movement joint in the correct location, this arrangement simplified what could have been a complicated procedure in an already time consuming placement area.
The start of RCC placement was at risk of further delay on account of the extensive mass concrete pours required to level the dam foundation. A conventionally vibrated concrete mix, made from the existing site won RCC materials, was designed so that it could be produced from the RCC batch plant. This method of concrete production, combined with an efficient means of delivering the concrete to the pour area, accelerated the placement process and reduced the cost of construction.
Keywords: RCC, dam, construction.