On February 7, 2017, the gated service spillway (also known as the Flood
Control Outlet or FCO Spillway) at Oroville Dam was being used to release water
to control the Lake Oroville level according to the prescribed operations plan.
During this operation, the service spillway’s concrete chute slab failed, resulting
in the loss of spillway chute slab sections and deep erosion of underlying
foundation materials. Subsequently, as the damaged service spillway was
operated in an attempt to manage multiple risks, the project’s free overflow
emergency spillway was overtopped for the first time since the project was
completed in 1968. Significant erosion and headcutting occurred downstream of
the emergency spillway’s crest structure, leading authorities to evacuate about
188,000 people from downstream communities.
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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is responsible for flood risk management across the United States. USACE has more than 710 dams and is responsible for more than 24,000 kilometres of levees. Since 2008, USACE projects have prevented more than AU$1.2 Trillion (in 2017 dollars) in damages from flooding. Although some of this came as a result of dozens of smaller floods, much of that protection came during three events within the last five years. From 2010 through 2017, the U.S. has had three major inland floods and two coastal events where federal flood protection exists: in 2010 on the Cumberland River, in 2011 on the Missouri, Ohio, White, and Mississippi Rivers, in 2015 on several rivers in Texas and Oklahoma, and in 2017 along the Gulf Coast of the U.S. and its territories in the Caribbean. For many of these locations, these events produced record rainfall and the flood of record. USACE operated many large facilities on these systems and those systems overall performed as expected. However, USACE also experienced some operational issues, did a substantial amount of flood fighting, had several incidents, and several failures. This paper will describe the flooding experienced in those events, the operations of the flood protection systems, the performance overall, and some of the lessons learned.
The paper describes the development of UK guidance on reservoir drawdown capacity. The guidance provides for a consistent thought process to be used in determining the recommended capacity. A basic recommended standard is proposed for embankment dams which varies with the consequences of failure of a dam. The drawdown rate for the highest consequence dams is 5% dam height/day with an upper limit of 1m/day. Engineering judgement is used to vary this standard allowing for ‘other considerations’ including the vulnerability to rapid dam failure, surveillance and precedent practice. A different approach is proposed for concrete/masonry dam, which considers the prime purpose of drawdown being to lower the reservoir in a reasonable timeframe to permit repairs rather than rapid lowering to avert failure. The UK approach is compared with that used in Australia and suggestions made for where its use may be appropriate.
This paper provides an outline of the design and construction of the works undertaken to refurbish the 120 year old intake tower at Mundaring Weir. The project drivers included asset condition, hydraulic capacity, reduction in unusable storage, and reduction in evaporation from the reservoir. The one off sale of this water together with the present value of the reduction in evaporation pays for the project construction and is a significant response to climate change that is taking place in the region. The effects of Alkali Aggregate Reaction (AAR) compromised the efficacy of the Intake Tower operating as a dry-well, while the small diameter and significant corrosion of cast iron pipes and valves had severely diminished the service capacity of the structure. The solution implemented in this project included: lining the Intake Tower with a 37 m long by 2.7 m diameter 316 stainless steel liner; construction of a new inlet 15 m below the reservoir surface using a bespoke underwater coring rig; relining of existing pipes through the dam wall; and new outlet control pipework and valves downstream of the dam.
Melbourne Water (MW) has historically seen dam safety management as a civil discipline and has focussed on understanding and managing the civil assets at its dam sites. The recent addition of a mechanical engineering resource to the team responsible for the dam safety management has refocused attention on the mechanical and electrical (M&E) assets and provided a more holistic asset management approach to MWs large dams.
This paper discusses the process MW has developed over the past two years to improve their understanding and management of M&E assets. It centres on key process points for how MW has prioritised the development of M&E asset management programs on the basis of an autogenous ‘asset criticality’ rating system and has utilised ANCOLD comprehensive inspections to plan and implement new inspections and tests on dam M&E assets. The two case studies of Sugarloaf and Upper Yarra Reservoirs’ outlet works demonstrate the the benefits of the process to gain operational and technical knowledge of M&E assets, strategic importance to the water supply network, identifying risks therein and reallocate significant funding to address these risks as prioritised by asset criticality.
Recent advances in communication technologies have made available an array of new systems and functionalities that dam operators can use to improve automation and centralisation in the daily surveillance tasks of their portfolios. These functionalities include real-time monitoring, target-oriented video surveillance and the remote management of PLCs and data loggers.
The present paper aims to outline some integration possibilities using TCP/IP technologies for remote operations and video surveillance.
The case study features a comprehensive dam instrumentation upgrade, in which the acquisition systems were complemented with a series of IP cameras designed to be triggered by local and remote events.