Stephen Newman, Rod Jacobs, and Dr John Yeates
Independence Group (IGO) is assessing the feasibility of re-commissioning a closed copper-zinc mine in Victoria. Due to the acid producing potential of the mine tailings if exposed to oxygen they are to be contained in a saturated condition not only during the life of the mine but well beyond closure and effectively in perpetuity. The tailings are to be stored in a saturated condition underground in the mining void however due to the limited volume available approximately half of the tailings produced over the mine life will require containment in a purpose built surface Tailings Storage Facility that would need to perform as a water retaining structure.
This paper describes key challenges with tailings management including demonstrating the viability of maintaining permanent saturation of the tailings and the long term integrity of the structure. Excessive poor quality seepage, piping and other failure modes have also been considered in the long term design of the closed Tailings Storage Facility. A surveillance program to provide early identification of potential issues has also been developed.
The design is consistent with ANCOLD guidelines and used a risk based approach to assess key issues associated with the extended design life.
Dr Andy Hughes, Tom Wanner and Ben Jones
Hampstead Heath is one of London’s most popular open spaces, situated just 6 kilometres north of Trafalgar Square. ‘The Heath’ covers over 300 hectares and contains open countryside, an abundance of wildlife, sporting facilities and two chains of ornamental and fresh water swimming lakes, which date back to the 18th Century. The Heath is covered by its own Act of Parliament, of 1871, which protects its historic and environmental importance for the City of London.
In 2011 it was assessed that failure of one or more of the earthfill dams, that retain the ornamental and swimming lakes, could cause failure of downstream dams and subsequent release of floodwaters into the London Borough of Camden and the London Underground, with the potential for a high loss of life. As a result a study was carried out to better understand the scale of the works required to upgrade the dams to prevent their failure, and the associated environmental, social and political impacts.
This paper will present the ideas formulated to safely pass the design floods for ten dams within this sensitive environment, which include the installation of new spillways and/or the raising of dam crests, whilst taking in to account the site constraints and the age of the dams, some of which are up to 300 years old. The risk assessment carried out to quantify the overall risk of the dam failures will also be discussed including the breach inundation flood modelling of central London.
The paper will focus on the engineering and environmental constraints of the project in relation to the highly urbanised area, and the challenges faced when trying to accommodate the needs of many government and high profile stakeholder bodies, and pieces of legislation, in one of the most politically sensitive parts of the country
Lyndon Johnson and Jamie Campbell
Data presentation is an important and much discussed aspect of Dam and asset safety worldwide. We rely on drawings and graphs of instrumentation data to tell us things about our assets that are hidden from the eye and to monitor changes linked to failure modes. It’s common that we look at data gaps for our assets, data quality and data processing but how often do we rethink the fundamentals of data presentation?
Engineers and data analysts, as humans, have evolved in a 3D world with our senses to match match. According to Keller GB, et al (2012) almost 20% of the human brain is dedicated to processing vision with up to 60% involved when locating, scaling and referencing objects in 3D space. As a result, 3D is an extremely efficient platform from which to display and disseminate information.
This paper discusses methods to efficiently transfer asset information into 3D and how to present animated surveillance data against asset models. The paper discusses how these methods work, benefits and limitations in the context of modern dam asset portfolio management and presents some key case studies of where and how these methods have assisted with asset diagnoses.
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.
Robert Kingsland, Andy Noble and Dr Eric Lam
Engineering design is necessarily context specific. However, engineering design produced in industrialised nations often comes encumbered with design methods, standards and construction process familiarities that can result in inappropriate design solutions for developing nations. This is no more apparent than with the design of small hydropower projects where budgets are small and the implications of poor decisions can easily threaten the viability of schemes.
In this paper we explore the challenges and opportunities for the scheme’s developer and designer, in striking an appropriate balance on engineering solutions that remain appropriate for the local construction practices. In most cases, based on our experiences from small, run-of-river developments, the available methods for feasibility study data collection, including geotechnical investigations and hydrology assessments, are in themselves a challenge. Consequently, the designer needs to work with what is readily available and often has to reset the established thinking to incorporate practical constructability into the designs, while giving special attention to the operation and maintenance aspects. More labour-intensive methods are not uncommon.
The stakeholders in small hydropower schemes are many: the community, the approval agencies, the lenders, the developers, the local construction industry, the government. Design decisions cannot be made in a vacuum. However, designers are often distant from the social, political, environmental and commercial context of their project. This separation can present significant challenges which, without due attention, can result in poor design outcomes.
This paper will, with reference to examples of good and poor design, discuss various facets of small hydropower development from a civil engineering perspective including, the scale of development, design methods, stakeholder engagement, local content involvement, constructability and financing. The paper concludes with suggestions for improving design outcomes for small hydropower projects.
Michael Ashley and Robert Wark
The construction of service reservoirs has been an integral part of the development of water supply systems throughout Western Australia, and many such developments have occurred in coastal regions. The porous and highly soluble limestone foundations that are found in coastal regions pose specific challenges and risks for the long term management of these structures. Minimising leakage rates has been traditionally driven by economic losses. However, it has become apparent that the leakage has caused long term structural damage to the foundations of the structures.
Based on four case studies from south west Western Australia, this paper describes the extent of the problem, investigation and testing methods, design challenges and construction issues to be considered when constructing water storages on porous foundations.