Sean Ladiges, Robert Wark, Richard Rodd
The use of permanent, load-monitorable post-tensioned, anchors for dam projects has been in place for approximately 35 years in Australia. Since then, over 30 large Australian dams have been strengthened using this technology, including the world record for anchor length (142 m – Canning Dam, WA) and size (91×15.7 mm strands – Wellington Dam, WA and Catugunya Dam, TAS).
In order to achieve the design life of 100 years expected of these anchors, an ongoing program of monitoring, testing and maintenance is required, to identify and rectify the initiation of corrosion or loss of pre-stress. Guidance for maintenance and testing regime for post-tensioned anchors in dams is provided in the ANCOLD Guidelines on Dam Safety Management (2003). The various conditions which may affect the performance of the anchor with time, such as anchor type, ground condition and loading fluctuations are not covered in the Guideline.
This paper reviews the implementation and results of anchor monitoring programs by Australian dam owners. The first part of this paper provides a summary of the testing and monitoring programs currently being implemented. The second part of the paper reviews the aggregated anchor load test results from a number of Australian dam owners, and identifies trends in anchor response over time following installation.
The paper aims to assess whether the recommended anchor testing regime proposed in ANCOLD (2003) is appropriate and cost effective, using evidence from recent load test data which has become available following the writing of the guideline. The lessons learnt from anchor maintenance programs will also be discussed.
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Peter Simson, Deryk Foster
Fairbairn Dam is an earth and rockfill embankment dam with an ungated, concrete-lined, spillway, located at AMTD 685.6 km on the Nogoa River, approximately 16 km south of Emerald in Central Queensland.
Following the flood of record in 2011 it was decided to repair a number of areas of spalling concrete which uncovered a collapsed transverse drain and a large void beneath the chute floor. The spillway chute is designed with subsurface drainage system of floor slabs consisting of alternate strips of concrete footing and gravel bed to aid in the control of uplift. The gravel was flushed from under the spillway floor into collapsed earthenware pipes of the drainage system resulting in an unsupported floor slab. Further investigation was carried out using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) which identified additional locations of possible voids. Concrete coring was carried out at selected locations to confirm the voids with some being over 250 mm in depth.
Investigation of the sub-surface drains was carried out using CCTV and showed many of the open jointed earthenware collector pipes had cracked and/or collapsed causing the drainage gravel and founding sedimentary rock to be scoured out by spillway flows entering the system through open contraction joints.
Following the discovery of the foundation scouring it was decided to expose a number of anchor bars in the chute floor to undertake a pull-out testing program. Of the ten anchor bars that were exposed, six were found to have corroded completely with the remaining four noted to be partially corroded and subsequently failed under loading.
A geotechnical investigation of the foundation materials was planned to determine the condition and strength of the founding sedimentary rock. In addition, the investigation also included sampling of seepage and reservoir waters to characterise the hydro-geochemistry and its contribution to the deterioration of the anchors.
Artesian conditions also occur within the spillway area, driven by the reservoir, with water passing through an extensive network of pervasive defects in addition to permeable flat-lying strata.
Coal seam gas is also known to occur, providing a further contribution to aggressive water geochemistry.
K.A. Crawford-Flett, J.J.M. Haskell
Dam inventories can provide a comprehensive understanding of a region’s dam population; from dam quantity, type, age, height, and purpose; to ownership profiling and broad-based regional risk assessment using GIS applications. Historically, New Zealand has lacked a comprehensive inventory of dam assets, instead relying on local and industry knowledge to characterise the dam infrastructure and its key properties, issues, and risks.
This paper presents a cross-sectional characterisation of dams in New Zealand, based on the recent compilation and analysis of a New Zealand Inventory of Dams (NZID). The NZID is the first inventory of its kind for NZ dams, comprising almost 1200 unique structures over 3 m in height. Inventory data was sourced from existing publications, NZSOLD, and regional authorities. The analysis of anonymised inventory data provides an understanding of the number and distribution of assets, along with characteristic physical properties (construction material, height, age, purpose).
Statistical comparisons are drawn in relation to published international dam inventories. Similarities and differences in the international dam populations are noted, particularly with regard to construction era and type. The NZ portfolio is unique in that dams are typically shorter in height, and a significant proportion of structures serve the hydroelectric and energy sectors.
Analysis of the new NZID confirms the need for research that is focused on the long-term performance of aging earth dams, particularly those exceeding 40 years of age. In addition to informing research needs and foci, the new NZID provides statistics on the dam population with far-reaching industry and management applications
James Penman, Terence Jibiki, Len Murray, and Mark Rynhoud
Two earthfill embankments are being constructed to form an impoundment in a mountainous region with a tropical climate. The embankment abutments are underlain by tropical weathered rock/soil including a significant thickness of residual soil. Previous slope failures within the area, including a 150 m wide failure of a construction access road, have been potentially due to weakness of the residual soil. In order to quantify the potential risk to the embankments, a geotechnical characterisation program consisting of in situ and laboratory testing was completed to determine the shear strengths and loading response within the residual soil material. This paper summarises the geotechnical investigation program and characterisation of this tropical residual soil in the context of the embankment stability.
Results of laboratory direct simple shear testing are presented and compared to common empirical methods for estimating the undrained shear strength of both over-consolidated and normally-consolidated materials using index properties and/or over-consolidation ratios. Methods used for comparison include those proposed by Skempton (1952 & 1957), Bjerrum-Simons (1960), Lambe & Whitman (1969) and Wroth & Houlsby (1985) for normally consolidated material and Ladd (1977) and Jamiolkowski et al. (1985) for over-consolidated material.
The results of in situ testing, including pocket penetrometer data and field shear vane data, are also presented.
Shane McGrath, Stuart Richardson, Mark Arnold
Melbourne Water Corporation has recently completed a complex safety upgrade of Greenvale, an extreme consequence category dam. An assessment concluded that the residual risks were As Low as Reasonably Practicable (ALARP). However, given the uncertainty associated with the calculations the estimated residual societal risk was not comfortably below the limit of tolerability. Melbourne Water has experience with preparing hazardous industry safety cases for its water treatment chemical storages and decided to trial the methodology for Greenvale Dam. This paper describes the approach taken in hazardous industries to construct safety cases and how his was adapted to demonstrate that dam safety risks are 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.