David Hilyard, William Ziegler, Heather Middleton
New South Wales has a significant number of dams, including major water supply dams, located over or near mines. Mining near dams imposes dam safety risks including: mine subsidence, mine blast vibration, presence of mine personnel downstream, rapid changes in consequence during mining, and loss of stored waters. The NSW Dams Safety Committee(DSC) regulates mining near dams, using risk assessment to review applications to mine near dams. A structured approach allows rational, evidence-based decision making by stepping through a procedure involving: initial consultations, screening risk assessment, evaluation of technical arguments, risk assessment, and development of risk management strategies. The risk assessment for dam walls develops acceptance criteria, reviews 19 possible risks to dam walls, and site-specific hazards. For potential for loss of stored waters, four possible groups of flow paths from storage to underground mine are reviewed; flows are evaluated with Monte Carlo simulation in terms of tolerable loss. Risks are assessed from a dam engineering viewpoint, which may be more conservative than the perception of risk in the mining industry, considering both tolerable risks and operational time frames. Case studies include: a tailings dam 100 m upstream of an active open cut and underground portal was undermined by longwall mining, with about 1.5 m subsidence of parts of the embankment as each of four longwall panels was extracted; longwall mining beneath a major Sydney water reservoir, with no observed impact on the stored waters; and open cut mining immediately downstream of a mine water dam. Risk-based methodology has provided the DSC with increased confidence in reviewing applications to mine near dams.
Keywords: Mining, dams, risk assessment, New South Wales, Dam Safety Committee
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Now showing 1-12 of 40 2976:
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.
Penelope Shaw, Brian Walford, Daniel Yates
The Bowen Basin is one of Australia’s economic mining powerhouses. Key to the mining of coal is the efficient management of the available water resources. For many years drought has meant that coal mines have had to manage operations with low quantities of water. For a new mine, this involved sophisticated hydrologic modelling as part of staying in business. In recent years a turnaround in weather conditions and changes to discharge permissions have meant that mines have too much saline water!
The paper describes how one mine augmented its small system of storages with a new dam and pumping system to meet regulatory requirements. Although not a large dam, the challenges confronted are shown to be similar to those involved in the delivery of much larger projects, all related to the power of water.
Keywords: Design storage allowance, water management, challenges, environmental protection, mining dams, automated pumping systems, spillway upgrading.
P C Styles, A L Garrard
The Victorian town of Nathalia was surrounded by flood water during the March 2012 floods in Northern Victoria.
Nathalia is protected by earthen levees of various sizes and age. Portable aluminium levees were installed during the March 2012 flood event, generally in areas where a permanent levee would restrict access to a park and views. The flood level came within 200mm of the crest of many of the levees and remained at a high level for nearly 2 weeks.
The paper describes the emergency management issues and procedures which relied on engineering advice to provide targeted and relevant remedial works on the levee system as potential problems arose. Engineers worked alongside the SES, CFA, Victoria Police, ADF and other volunteers to monitor, repair and reinforce the levee system on a 24 hour basis. The engineering support continued over a period of approximately 2 weeks, from the time the flood waters commenced rising until they had receded sufficiently for the orders for evacuation of the town to be rescinded.
Keywords: Nathalia, floods, levees, emergency management
Kelly Maslin, Mark Foster, Len McDonald
A key requirement of assessing the tolerability of dam safety risks is the assessment of individual risk. The ANCOLD Guidelines on Risk Assessment provides guidance on acceptable levels of individual risk and some general guidance on the calculation of individual risk.
Individual risk is a key measure in the consideration of the tolerability of risk, ALARP and development of risk mitigation works. It is essential that there is consistency in the approach to estimating individual risk used across the dams industry.
This paper reviews the approaches taken to estimating individual risk across the dams industry both locally and internationally as well as the experience of other industries.
The paper includes a review of the various methods for estimating the vulnerability of individuals subjected to flood inundation based on historical fatality rates as well as identification of the individual most at risk
The paper then describes a method that has been developed based on the principles used for assessing individual risk due to other hazards, such as landslides. The method includes consideration of a range of factors such as warning time, temporal variation and vulnerability of the individuals most at risk. The method developed provides a transparent, defensible and pragmatic approach to estimating individual risk. Practical guidance and examples are also provided on the application of the method.
Keywords: individual, risk, exposure, fatality
M. Tooley, D. D’Angelo, B. Priggen, K. Sih, N. Vitharana, R. Mouveri
As the urban sprawl of residential and commercial businesses expand to meet rising population, consideration must be given to the frequency and intensity of storm events and changes in tidal levels, to mitigate the risk of flooding and damage associated with the failure of hydraulic structures.
This paper outlines the design method undertaken to ensure the ageing structure (founded on timber piles) meets modern dam safety criteria, extends the life of the 8 gates operating mechanisms and provides overall inherent reliability for the whole structure. The design method included updated hydrological assessment of the upstream catchment, geotechnical investigation, liquefaction review, consequence category and AFC assessment, hydraulic assessment and stability analysis.
These assessments are being undertaken to introduce inherent reliability in their operation in particular during king tide or storm water events, or a combination of the both, minimising leakage and breakdowns and ensuring the risks of flooding to low lying residential areas upstream of the structure and major airport are minimised. The Glenelg Gates structure is an integral part of a larger regulating system for the catchment.
The findings of the design upgrade would be useful to dam designers and owners faced with the upgrading of gated structures with flooding risks in residential areas.
Keywords: Gated Glenelg Gates structures, upgrade, dam design guidelines.