The volume-of-fluid (VOF) technique was employed to develop a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model for comparison to physical measurements available from the Eildon Dam model in Australia for validations purposes. The water surface in the downstream chute of the spillway was observed to be mostly comprised of fully developed aerated flow. The free surface is physically measured as located between the mixing and upper zones, thus investigator judgement is critical to achieve reliable measurements. The mixing zone is also characterized by surface waves to complicate matters even further. A challenge arose to develop a post processing methodology that replicates as closely as possible the measuring technique used by the physical modeller for direct comparison of results, using a novel method which utilises Poisson probability of exceedance applied to the free surface.
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Earthquakes are a well-known threat to the safety of dams. While this threat is subdued for Australian Dams, the potential for earthquake induced failure of a dam requires risk minimisation in the downstream community through monitoring and emergency response procedures. This paper details WaterNSW’s approach to their development of a Seismic Monitoring Strategy which was to align the business and ensure an appropriate post-seismic response.
The strategy also identifies that a proactive approach to seismic instrumentation can be taken to reduce business risk by aiding decision making should a dam be in a damaged post-seismic state.
The interim outcome of implementing the Seismic Monitoring Strategy resulted in a fast emergency
response time and less overreaction/distraction of dam safety resources in insignificant seismic events. There is opportunity for other Australian dam owners to implement similar systems to = WaterNSW and achieve similar results.
For hydropower dam projects, design and construction of the temporary works including cofferdams are very important. Improper selection, design and/or construction of temporary works may cause delay of major construction works and increase construction cost.
The authors worked on the preparation of the Engineering, procurement and construct EPC tender (based on International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) contract-yellow book) for a 20 MW Hydro Power Plant (HPP) project in the Balkans Region. The scheme involved the design and construction of three cofferdams to enable construction of the main dam, intake and powerhouse. The basis for tendering, as a part the contract documents, was the preliminary design of the HPP scheme. The tenderers were allowed to deviate from the solutions presented in the preliminary design as long as the proposed solutions fulfilled the Employer’s Requirements.
As a part of a winning strategy, the preliminary design cofferdams were changed and modified, providing significant saving and facilitating quicker and safer construction. This paper presents the development of the design and challenges faced during construction work.
Investigations into the core material of earth fill dams are undertaken reluctantly due to the potential to cause damage to the embankment. Where investigations are required, Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) is increasingly used to assist with the geotechnical assessment of dam embankments. The risk of hydraulic fracture within embankment core material is well known and procedures are typically adopted to minimise the risk of hydraulic fracture during remediation of the holes. Backfilling is typically done in stages allowing for an initial set of the cement/bentonite grout mixture prior to subsequent lifts.
While the risk of hydraulic fracture is well understood, the lesser known risk of pneumatic fracture is a possibility where certain conditions exist. This paper discusses CPT investigations at Fairbairn Dam, operated by Sunwater in Central Queensland, and the challenges faced in undertaking the remediation of the CPT holes. The potential for pneumatic fracture of the embankment core was highlighted during the investigations and details of alternative techniques adopted for reinstatement of the holes are presented. Recommendations are made to appropriately manage the risk of pneumatic fracture when undertaking CPT’s through embankment core.
Lake Buffalo located on the Buffalo River near Myrtleford in Victoria was constructed in the 1960s as a cofferdam for the then proposed Big Buffalo dam. Consequently, the dam was designed for a short life (<10 years) and design features and criteria for a permanent dam were not implemented.
Critical features include a primary spillway with three vertical lift gates, two outlet conduits located
through the spillway piers, a single upstream valve on each outlet conduit for regulation and isolation, and a multi-part bulkhead which is installed in front of the valves for inspection and maintenance.
With the continued operation of the dam beyond 60 years, upgrades appropriate to a permanent dam have been implemented, including addressing deficiencies with spillway gate hoists lifting equipment and redundancy of the outlet conduit vales. This proved challenging, as the operation of spillway structures does not readily align with industry or Australian Standards. This paper will outline the issues encountered, their resolution and the lessons learnt during this upgrade work.
An assessment of dam failure consequence for Jandowae Water Supply Dam in South-West Queensland was performed using HEC-LifeSim. The purpose of the assessment was to investigate the applicability of the software to inform decisions on an appropriate regulatory pathway for the dam that reflects the consequences of failure. This paper details the development of the hydrologic and hydraulic models behind the HEC-LifeSim simulations, the assignment of key parameters and their sensitivities, and a comparison of predictions to existing procedures for assessing potential loss of life and populations at risk. The paper reflects upon the level of effort required to develop HEC-LifeSim assessments and the relative benefits gained using this information in the regulatory space.