J.H.Green, C.Beesley, C.The, S.Podgerand, A.Frost
The ability to estimate design rainfalls for probabilities rarer than 100 years or 1% Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) is an essential part of dam hydrology. The earliest means of estimating rare events consisted of a pragmatic curve fitting procedure between the 50 and 100 year design rainfalls and the Probable Maximum Precipitation. In the 1990s a more rigorous method of estimating design rainfalls as rare as 2000 years was developed – the Cooperative Research Centre – FOcussed Rainfall Growth Estimation (CRC-FORGE) method. CRC-FORGE estimates were derived for Victoria in 1997 followed progressively by each of the other states. Over the subsequent two decades CRC-FORGE estimates were an integral part of the risk assessment of large dams – being used to determine the AEP of the Dam Crest Flood.
The Bureau of Meteorology will soon release new rare design rainfall estimates for probabilities to 2000 years. The new rare design rainfalls are a significant improvement on the CRC-FORGE estimates as they have been derived using up to date data; contemporary analytical techniques and a method that is consistent across Australia.
However, there are differences between the CRC-FORGE estimates and the new rare design rainfalls. These differences do not constitute a systematic change to the CRC-FORGE estimates but rather vary with location; duration and probability. The results of a detailed comparison between the CRC-FORGE estimates and the new rare design rainfalls are presented together will an assessment of the possible impacts on previous estimates of the AEP of the Dam Crest Flood.
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Mohammad Okhovat, Viculp Lal, Neil Sutherland
The precast, prestressed concrete penstocks at Meridian Energy’s Benmore power station in New Zealand have attracted attention since construction about 50 years ago because of their unusual design. They are listed as the world’s first prestressed penstocks. However, their seismic capacity has been determined to be insufficient when measured against Meridian’s current asset management objectives aimed at avoiding significant damage to generating assets in a 1:2,500 year AEP earthquake. The deficiency is mainly due to the relatively narrow base width of the penstocks.
In this study, a series of linear analyses was performed to obtain an improved understanding of seismic behaviour of the penstocks. Various strengthening solutions are under consideration for the penstocks to meet the acceptance criteria. Additionally, nonlinear analysis of the penstocks was carried out to investigate the use of seismic damping devices fitted to the penstocks, similar to damping applications in seismic response control of buildings and bridges.
David Scriven, Lawrence Fahey
Paradise Dam is located approximately 20 km north-west of Biggenden and 80 km south-west of Bundaberg on the Burnett River in Queensland. The dam was designed and constructed under an alliance agreement with construction completed in mid 2005. It is a concrete gravity structure up to 52 m high, the primary construction material being roller compacted concrete (RCC).
In January 2013 the flood of record was experienced at the dam with a depth of overflow on the primary spillway reaching 8.65 m following heavy rainfall in the catchment from ex-tropical cyclone Oswald. The peak outflow was approximately 17,000 m3/s. This equated to a 1 in 170 AEP flood event. When the flood receded it was discovered that the dam and surrounds had suffered severe damage in a number of locations including: extensive rock scour downstream of the primary dissipator and the left abutment, damage to portions of the primary dissipator apron, and the loss of most of the primary dissipator end sill.
SunWater initiated a staged remediation program to manage the dam safety risks and by November 2013 had completed the initial Phase 1 Emergency and Phase 2 Interim repairs. Phase 3 of the program was to implement a comprehensive Dam Safety Review (DSR) and a Comprehensive Risk Assessment (CRA). The DSR became arguably the largest ever undertaken by SunWater and included: extensive geotechnical investigations, large scale physical modelling, numerical scour analysis, stability analysis, and an extensive design assessment. This paper describes some of the key aspects of the DSR undertaken related to the flood damage.
Robert Shelton, Jako Abrie, Matt Wansbone
The Mahinerangi dam – arguably the most valuable in Trustpower’s portfolio of 47 large dams – is over 80 years old and needs a plan of work to confirm it meets current design standards.
The dam was completed in 1931, subsequently raised in 1944-1946, and strengthened with steel tendon anchors in 1961.
A comprehensive safety review (CSR) in 2007 noted a potential deficiency in the fully grouted anchors and a program of work commenced to re-evaluate the overall stability of the dam.
A potential failure mode assessment revealed that the dam may need upgrading to meet the criteria for maximum design earthquake (MDE). Areas of uncertainty were identified and a significant programme of survey, geological mapping, concrete testing and site specific seismic assessments have been carried out to reduce risk and uncertainty in design.
The paper discusses the dam’s history, current condition, and describes the ongoing programme of work planned to extend the life of the dam for another 80+ years.
Russell Mills PhD,Rebecca Freeman, Malcolm Barker
The global mining industry lives with the risk of catastrophic events such as water storage or tailings dam failures as part of its daily operations, and has developed a number of approaches to enable mine management to understand the nature of the risks and the ways in which they are being managed. One such approach involves the use of bowties for the understanding of the hazards and risks. Building from bowties, the second approach involves the selection and management of controls critical to the prevention or mitigation of the catastrophic event. The Australian mining industry is a world leader in this regard and the purpose of this paper is to illustrate how bowties are constructed, how risks can be semi-quantitatively estimated, how critical controls are selected and managed, and how, if all this is done well, risks can be demonstrated to be as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).
This paper sets out key themes and presents an example for a tailings dam failure to illustrate the role of bowties and critical controls in management of catastrophic events. It will also highlight the role of bowties in the anticipated introduction of a Safety Case approach to dam risk management. Bowties provide a useful tool for the transfer of risk management knowledge from the designer, to allow dam owner / operators to better understand their risks and to recognise the link between design and operational controls and how they are used to manage those risks to ALARP.
Paradise Dam is located on the Burnett River 20 km northwest of the town of Biggenden in Queensland. It is a gravity dam with a height of 37 metres and a total capacity of 300,000 ML. It was primarily constructed to service local agriculture.
The dam features a complex outlet works contained within a tightly constrained footprint. It provides for irrigation releases, fish passage and power generation. Additionally, the outlet is required to pass very high environmental flows of up to 270 m3/s.
The dam was subjected to major flooding in 2013 resulting in significant damage to the mechanical equipment associated with the outlet works, and severe scour downstream of the spillway.
Since construction, the operating range for the environmental outlet has been restricted. A rough operating zone has been identified through which the gates are quickly moved through. It is believed to be caused by the dynamics of the gates and the upstream conduit arrangement. Failure of the downstream stainless steel liner associated with the conduit has also occurred. The environmental outlet lacks the ability to be isolated from the storage, complicating the maintenance / modification of the gates. At the time of design, it was agreed by the alliance partners that major maintenance of the gate would be planned for when the reservoir was low, being below the intake bellmouth.
The irrigation release valves suffer from high vibration levels during operation. Component failure and severe corrosion have also been experienced.
This paper details:
Operational and maintenance experiences and restrictions since commencing operation including the impact of flooding;
Investigation and testing of environmental gate dynamics and the impact of these on the intake tower;
Failure of the environmental conduit liner, investigation and proposed rectification;
Proposed method to enable servicing of environmental gates without the use of a bulkhead and without draining the storage;
Proposed enhancements to irrigation valves to reduce vibration and extend service life.