Wark, Bob; Thomas, Louise
This paper discusses the rating curves developed for several case studies from the Pilbara and Kimberley, including the Harding Dam, Moochalabra Dam and Ophthalmia Dam. The paper will discuss the impact of underestimated rating curves on the design of infrastructure. An example has occurred at Harding Dam where the pump station was designed to be inundated at a 1:100 AEP and this is now estimated to occur at a lower AEP. The paper will also discuss methods to improve the accuracy of rating curves and the challenges associated with determining accurate rating curves.
Suraj Neupane, Paul Southcott, and Tung Hoang
Conglomerate Dam has multiple cracks along the asbestos cement outlet conduits running through the embankment. The reservoir level has been maintained at 2m below the full supply level to reduce the amount of seepage, emerging on the downstream face, until the conduits are repaired and protect the embankment from slope instability and piping. Several methods were investigated under an options study to determine the most suitable internal lining method. Slip lining with polyethylene pipe was found to be the most suitable method in terms of technology as well as cost.
Behrooz Ghahreman Nejad
In recent years, dam designers have become increasingly interested in application of the geomembrane sealing systems (GSS) in design of tailings storage facilities around the world. The main reasons for this have been the deformation characteristics, environmental aspects (ie seepage minimisation), speed of construction and constructability of geomembrane liners in most climatic conditions. This paper reports the design and application of two types of geomembrane sealing system in Angas Zinc (AZ) and Sarcheshmeh Copper (SC) tailings dams. The former is a 25m high zoned earthfill embankment with an HDPE liner system, located in an environmentally sensitive site in South Australia. The latter is a 94m high zoned rockfill embankment with a PVC liner system, located in a region of high seismicity in central Iran.
The designs of the AZ and SC geomembrane sealing systems including geomembrane liner, drainage layer, anchoring, leak detection system and drains, and instrumentations are discussed in detail. The performance of the liner systems during operation is also presented.
William Ziegler and Heather Middleton
This paper presents the collation of over 20 years of data on vertical and horizontal movements around Cataract Dam in the Southern Coalfield of New South Wales, reporting subsidence that continues 25 years after extraction in the area ceased. The occurrence of increased vertical movement over old goaf areas as the result of extraction in the same seam at greater than 1km distance has been observed. Together with a change in the behaviour of measured head of water 6 years after extraction ceased in the area. These points raise the question, how long should subsidence monitoring continue after extraction has ceased in areas of important infrastructure?
Bronson McPherson, David Guest, Barton Maher, Ian Tanner and Amit Chanan
There is significant community interest in the potential for water supply dams to be adapted for flood mitigation, particularly for major dams located upstream of flood vulnerable populations. There may be a number of large dams which have the potential to provide significant flood mitigation benefits to Australian communities if they can be adapted for flood mitigation functionality. Other dams already provide significant flood mitigation benefits, however their limitations are not properly understood by the general public. Two major dams located near a large urban town centre prone to flooding are examined as a case study and some international cases are presented.
Flood mitigation often has a different funding source to water supply. The funding arrangements for flood mitigation dam works can be complex, considering the potential stakeholders and somewhat intangible benefits. If the community wants to use a water supply dam to provide flood mitigation then who provides the funding for the modification works?
Shane McGrath, Phillip Cummins, and David Stewart
Dam owners and regulators now commonly use risk assessment techniques to assist with decision making for an individual dam or a portfolio of dams. In many cases risk assessment is used to select an optimal course of action in relation to ongoing safety performance of dams, including the achievement of public safety objectives. However, whilst it is an important tool, the use of risk assessment alone is not sufficient to establish that a dam is “safe”.
In modern organisations, business objectives are achieved through a systematic approach to management which described simply sets out what needs to be achieved, how the required outcomes will be delivered and audits the process and results.
In hazardous industries such as mining, chemical, nuclear and dams, it is necessary to reliably achieve business objectives such as product volumes, unit costs and workplace health and safety alongside public safety objectives. In the dams industry, dam safety management systems are now being implemented to document how the organisation satisfies its corporate and business objectives, governance responsibilities and risk management processes.
It is also common in hazardous industries that a “safety case” is required by regulators to demonstrate that the owner has identified what could go wrong at its facility, what controls are in place and that there is a system in place to ensure that the controls are reliable. Whilst dam owners may rely on a dam safety risk assessment to meet regulatory obligations and demonstrate due diligence, the results of risk assessments are not routinely documented sufficiently to satisfy a “safety case” and therefore will not fully meet the organisation’s requirements.
Many dam owners are also responsible for the safety management of other hazardous facilities, such as urban water and mining corporations which typically manage hazardous chemical installations and hazardous or toxic waste disposal. For such organisations, the corporate awareness and processes should already exist to extend the “safety case” philosophy to the management of their dams.
This paper sets out the importance of a dam “safety case”, the essential elements of a safety case and its relationship to the dam safety management system.