This paper outlines lessons learned from 8 years of regular operations and testing of 111 gates at 22 sites. It points out that the implementation challenges involved are not only technological in nature, but also encompass human factor and organizational issues. This is perhaps understandable since the initiative is part of the cultural shift to sustain gate reliability long-term.
An increase in gate testing frequency has led to the identification of more performance anomalies, ranging from deficiencies to operational failures. This finding may not be unique to a single dam owner. It leads to the following question to the general dam owner community: Are we testing our gates enough?
Two techniques were used to calculate seismic hazard at a number of locations in southeast Australia. To simplify matters only Peak Ground Accelerations were compared.
The first technique used a seismological model of areal source zones that was based on the recorded seismicity as well as geological and tectonic inputs. Each zone was assigned a rate of earthquake activity that had been calculated from the recorded seismicity and a magnitude completeness function. Known geological faults that are also part of the model had to be excluded to allow a direct comparison with the second technique. A standard probabilistic seismic hazard analysis then gave PGA values versus return periods. This is the approach that has been used for the current Australian earthquake loading code (AS1170.4).
The second technique used a simple historical approach whereby recorded earthquakes were combined with an attenuation function to directly give the estimated return periods. This approach takes no account of tectonics, geological terranes or faulting – it simply uses the known, recorded earthquake catalogue. This is the technique used in the original Australian earthquake loading code (AS 2121).
The same ground motion attenuation function was used in both techniques but for a direct comparison the aleatory variability was set to zero in the probabilistic case because the historical approach did not include this effect.
In the historical approach the variability in completeness of the recorded catalogue was not considered. It was simply assumed that all earthquakes producing accelerations greater than a given value would be recorded over the last 100 years.
The comparisons were made for minimum considered magnitudes of 4 and 5.
There was general agreement between the two approaches especially at shorter return periods (lower PGA amplitudes). At longer return periods (higher PGA amplitudes) where there were higher uncertainties, the results at some sites diverged.
This simple comparison of two approaches to the same problem of estimating earthquake hazard is shown to be of value in ensuring that the AUS5 model used by SRC is producing results that are consistent with the historically recorded data.
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.
Steven Slarke, Dr Martin Mallen-Cooper and Marcos Guirguis
Keepit Fishway Offsets
Fish passage structures are being provided by State Water Corporation as part of a strategic program to address fish passage barriers that triggered S218 of the Fisheries Management Act 1994 at Mollee Weir, Gunidgera Weir and Weeta Weir in the Namoi River. These sites are an offset for dam safety upgrade works on Keepit and Split Rock dams in the headwaters of the Namoi River. Rather than applying high-level fish lifts at the dams, the three lowland sites represent the top three ecological priorities in the Namoi River for fish passage facilities – a case of less cost for greater ecological outcomes. The objective of the fish passage facilities at these sites is to restore upstream and downstream fish passage for about fifteen native fish species. The key biological objectives are to pass adult and juvenile fish upstream and adult fish and larvae (which drift with the current) downstream.
Mollee Weir was constructed in 1973 on the Namoi River downstream of Keepit Dam, near Narrabri in northern NSW. The nine-metre high weir is used for irrigation and comprises a reinforced concrete structure featuring three bays with undershot gates and two piers. The upstream and downstream water levels are highly variable, with a maximum differential head of about six metres. Fish are unable to pass the weir during regulated and unregulated flows; even when the undershot gates are fully raised in high flows, due to high velocities in the opened weir. The weir’s large undershot gates are also a barrier to safe downstream fish passage during regulated flows. High water pressures and velocities beneath the partially raised gates create a high mortality rate for fish and larvae moving downstream.
Fish Passage and Regulator Structure
Designed for State Water NSW by URS Australia Pty Ltd in cooperation with Dr Martin Mallen-Cooper of Fishway Consulting services, Mollee Weir features a new fish lock for upstream-migrating fish and a dedicated overshot gate with dissipating pools for downstream-migrating fish, and was constructed during 2013 to 2014.
It is the tallest fish lock in Australia that is filled from the top.
The innovative design features two separate downstream fish holding bays and two fish lock entrance gates, to provide optimal entrance conditions at varying river flows and water levels.
To provide safe downstream fish passage at low to moderate river flows, a 4 m wide ‘downstream multi-function migration gate’ has been integrated beside the fish lock structure. This overshot gate also provides an attraction flow to the fish lock entrances, and tracks the upstream water level at high river flows to provide a high discharge pool and weir fishway as a bypass around the weir structure.
The Mollee Weir fish lock provides upstream fish passage for the full range of upstream and downstream water levels.
Przemyslaw A. Zielinski
Three aspects of the current engineering practice in using event trees in dam safety risk analyses are discussed in the paper. These aspects include assignment of probabilities for initiating events, treat-ment of dependencies in the event tree, and dynamic aspects of dam system behaviour and accounting for time. The paper discusses limitations of the methodology and common mistakes in engineering applications of event tree methods when assessing dam safety risks and making safety decisions for specific dams. Of particular importance is the discussion of incorrect interpretation of dependency structure when addressing common cause failure modes.
Guresh Ahuja, Brian Cooper, Olaf Rutgrink and Andrew Thomson
This paper presents details of the State Water Corporation of NSW Australian first temperature control curtain project aimed at dealing with the environmental issue of cold water pollution in dam offtakes. This is a key project focused on dealing with a known environmental issue and reflects changing environmental and social expectations for dam operators. In the concept phases this project was part of the NSW Rivers Environmental Restoration Program (RERP) sub-program ‘better delivery of environmental water’.
The paper presents the development of the design concept including early concept screening and selection, scale model testing, concept design development, hydrodynamic, structural and computational fluid dynamic analyses leading to the final design that has now being constructed. The concept design work was completed in 2011 and following a tender process a design and construct contract was let for the detailed design and construction of the temperature control curtain system. This phase of the work was recently completed and the temperature control curtain is now fully operational. The actual performance and effectiveness of the temperature control curtain will only become evident after a few years of operation and will also hinge on the degree of stratification in the dam.