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
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Damon Miller and Grant Jones
Mt Buller Alpine Resort has significant constraints on its capacity to store and supply potable water during times of peak demand, which impacts the ability to sustain and grow visitation to the resort, limiting optimal functioning and future development of the resort.
A proposed new 100 megalitre dam would primarily supply the resident and visitor populations with a reliable potable water source while also maintaining through snowmaking, the Resort’s amenity and functionality during winter for skiing and snow-play.
Standard dam engineering criteria of technical feasibility and environmental impact influenced the site selection and design of the new off-stream storage whilst additional key drivers unique to an alpine resort, framed around impact to existing skiable terrain and resort functionality, were critical to satisfy the resort stakeholders. The need to minimise the visual impact of the dam and integrate with the resort environment was also of high importance.
Gavan Hunter, David Jeffery and Chris Kelly
Laanecoorie Reservoir, located in central Victoria, passed 3 significant floods in late 2010 to early 2011; the last flood being the highest on record since 1909. Significant cracking and deformation of this 100 year old puddle core earthfill embankment occurred. A series of longitudinal cracks up to 25 mm in width opened up in the crest over a length of 70 m and crest settlements were up to 70 mm; very large for a dam of this age. A significant difference at Laanecoorie compared to other similar dams is that it experiences high tail water levels during major flooding.
Investigations into the embankment following the January 2011 flood encountered several defects
including a decomposed tree root hole (large void up to 90 mm) that almost fully penetrated the raised section of puddle core, permeable gravel layers within the puddle core and transverse cracks up to 2 mm wide. The encountered defects and performance of the embankment many years after construction highlighted the deterioration that can occur with aging of these older embankments and the issues associated with poor past practices in tree management adjacent to dam embankments.
Dam safety upgrade works were undertaken in 2013 to address the identified piping and stability risks.
The works included construction of a filter buttress, replacement of a length of the raised puddle core and construction of a buried gabion wall on the left abutment to provide protection against scour should the secondary spillway fail or overtop.
GMW implemented a series of actions during the flood events in accordance with the Dam Safety
Emergency Plan (DSEP) to address cracking and deformation. Once aware of the dam safety risks, interim actions were implemented including increased frequency of monitoring, together with set up and measurement of crack pins, and temporary survey markers on the embankment.
Dennis C. Green
Current good practice for risk management as represented in ANCOLD guidelines emphasises risk reduction beyond tolerable risk levels to As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP). Risk reduction reflected in key design parameters such as the spillway design flood is monitored on a quantitative basis, while the guidelines also draw attention to a number of non-quantifiable measures.
Recent work health and safety legislation in Australia does not at first appear to relate to dam safety, but it mandates elimination of risk, and, if that is not possible, then it mandates reduction of risk So Far As Is Reasonably Practicable (SFAIRP). It is tempting to believe that this is equivalent to ANCOLD’s approach to ALARP, but the devil is in the detail of the legislation. This paper argues for a change to a more systematic presentation of recording of decisions on dam safety risk management, lest the legislation expose dam owners unwittingly to liability when they thought they were following good practice. In particular, the re-focussing of ANCOLD Guidelines to align more recognisably with the new legal paradigm, including preparation and adoption of a Safety Case, is recommended.
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.
This paper presents the methods used to apply a Flood Operation Simulation Model, and the methods used to present results of thousands of flood simulations in a way that different operational options could be compared. The approach was found to be valuable to understand the capacity of the dams to mitigate floods. The study identified shortcomings for the conventional design event approach to flood estimation. A broader range of stochastic floods was an advantage to assess flood mitigation performance and extreme floods of interest to dam safety.