Leslie Harrison Dam is located on Tingalpa Creek in the Redlands region, approximately 18 km southeast of Brisbane. It is classified as an extreme hazard category dam with a large population at risk only a short distance downstream.
The dam comprises a 25 m high zoned earthfill embankment, with a dry well concrete intake tower and an outlet conduit located at the base of the dam near the old river channel. The spillway has a 43 m wide concrete gravity ogee crest, with a concrete lined chute terminating in an energy dissipator structure.
Seqwater is undertaking a staged upgrade of Leslie Harrison Dam to address deficiencies identified during the Portfolio Risk Assessment (URS 2013) and Geotechnical Investigations (GHD 2016).
While the dam has met the water supply needs of the community for the past 50 years, the upgrade ensures local residents will be well served into the future. Additionally, the structure will meet the most up to date requirements of dam safety management and national industry standards.
Construction of the Stage 1 upgrade commenced in June 2018 and involved the removal and replacement of liquefiable material in the foundation, modernisation and extension of the outlet works, addition of a new downstream filter buttress to the embankment, and lastly, the installation of both active and passive anchors within the spillway ogee and lower chute floor.
As with any major project, the works involved a number of challenges that had to be addressed. This paper provides an insight into the key challenges encountered and how these were overcome by the design and construction teams using practical engineered solutions. The intent is to provide the reader with an account of the “lessons learned” during the construction phase, along with recommendations for future dam upgrades.
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Trustpower’s Mahinerangi Dam in New Zealand’s South Island is a concrete arch and gravity abutment dam built in 1931, subsequently raised in 1946 and strengthened with tie-down anchors in 1961.
This paper discusses a 3D finite element analysis of the dam and the predicted performance of the arch section under Safety Evaluation Earthquake (SEE) loading against identified potential failure modes.
Current guidelines and recent seismic hazard assessments recommend earthquake loadings higher than what was originally accounted for in previous decades. A Comprehensive Safety Review identified stability under SEE loading as a potential deficiency, so a programme of works was commenced to evaluate and better understand the seismic risk by using modern day tools and technology to evaluate the dam against current performance standards.
The final model incorporated the results of extensive laboratory testing, high-resolution LiDAR survey data and dynamic calibration using ambient-vibration monitoring. Motion recordings across the face of the dam during the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake were also used to validate the model. The reservoir has been explicitly modelled together with the opening, closing and sliding of contraction joints and the foundation interface. This allowed the modelling of permanent displacements and the redistribution of loads within the dam under SEE loading, which had been shown to be an important behaviour from the previous stages of analysis.
Vertical gates and their operating plant are an essential part of dam safety at many dam sites. Apportioning appropriate levels of resilience during the design phase requires a thorough understanding of a gate system as a whole, not only of a single component in isolation.
This paper offers a designer’s perspective on modern engineering design features, materials and practices which can improve gate resilience during onerous operating conditions. This is of particular relevance to gates that are seldom used. Design aspects relating to the capability and limitations of the gate, hoist type, power supply arrangement and control system equipment to work together as a complete system are paramount design considerations in ensuring overall system resilience.
A discussion of the role and duty a hydraulic gate has in a dam safety context is presented. Supporting commentary is offered on appropriate levels of reliability, redundancy and diversity, including a comparison of different gate, bearing and hoist types. The authors draw on their own experience regarding gate design, fabrication and operation from completed and ongoing projects both locally and internationally.
Design Review Boards or Panels play an important role in supporting owners and designers in creating resilient design of water storage and tailings dams. Their essential roles are to constructively challenge the project team to deliver on the project objectives through a design which meets the 3R’s of resilience, robustness and reliability, and to provide assurance to potentially non-technical owner / project management. This can sometimes create an uncomfortable situation if one or more of the project team is not aligned with the agreed criteria. Time and cost pressures can often push a project or execution team to undertake insufficient analysis or to consider non-justifiable construction processes or shortcuts.
Regardless, the Review Board must remain steadfast in their advice and guidance with a strong focus on “data-supported decisions”. Finding and maintaining an effective board requires commitment at the highest levels. This paper will examine some of the challenges in addressing governance, membership and turnover, and conflict resolution.
Identification of people impacted by a hypothetical dam-break flood is required to understand the potential hazard a dam poses to downstream communities. The New Zealand Dam Safety Guidelines and the Australian Consequence Categories for Dams define these people collectively as the “Population at Risk” (PAR) and recommend that evaluation of PAR should include both permanent and temporary populations. However, there is limited guidance on specific methods to determine these populations. This paper provides an outline of an evidence-based, repeatable method to determine the PAR (both permanent and temporary) within a dam-break flood inundation zone. The method is intended to provide guidance for people tasked with estimating PAR in accordance with the New Zealand Dam Safety Guidelines. The methodology provides a current practice framework for users to apply and estimate the PAR in a clear and defendable manner.
Recent tailings dam failures have led to worldwide alarm that we are still getting an average of two
significant tailings dam incidents a year. This is despite the efforts of various industry organisations aroundthe world to raise the standards of tailings dam management. Clearly, a significant number of mining dams are not re silient enough to ensure the required level of safety for sustainable mining operations in a modern world in which there is increasing concern for the environment. This paper updates ANCOLD with international developments in attempting to address shortcomings in the mining industry that is allowing these failures to continue to occur.
In Australia, ANCOLD have released an addendum to the 2012 ANCOLD Guidelines on Tailings Dams, Planning, Design, Construction, Operation and Closure, to coincide with the new ANCOLD Guidelines for Design of Dams and Appurtenant Structures for Earthquake. This addendum also addresses issues of governance of tailings dams and provides additional guidance on the serious issue of static-liquefaction, a critical factor in recent failures.
On the international scene, ICOLD is progressing a Tailings Dam Safety Bulletin that is hoped will set
minimum standards for Tailings Dams for all member countries. In addition, the International Council of Mining and Metallurgy (ICMM) similarly wants to establish an international standard. It is likely that these international bodies will cooperate to ensure a consistent set of guidelines and that countries will accept and implement these.
This paper updates the ANCOLD position regarding guidelines and describes the state of various
international guidelines following the June ICOLD meeting in Ottawa.