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A. Ash, D. S. Bowles, S. Abbey and R. Herweynen
A preliminary risk assessment was undertaken of its three dams by the South East Queensland Water Board (SEQWB) in 1999. The risk assessment process used included a series of workshops that proved to be an important part of ensuring a worthwhile result. The combined expertise of the consultants together with that of staff from the Board and the Queensland’s Department of Natural Resources were used to improve the outcome. The results of the assessment showed that the process had both advantages as well as difficulties in comparison to a standards based approach for making dam safety decisions. Risk Assessment was seen to be a useful management tool for managing dam safety. It gave the owner the ability to quickly rank upgrade requirements or maintenance options on the basis of probability of failure, life safety risks and financial risks to the owner or economic risks to all stakeholders.
B. S. Sherman
Many large Australian dams currently lack selective withdrawal capabilities and release water mainly from deep within the hypolimnion. Deep-water releases coupled with the strong thermal stratification typical of Australian reservoirs results in discharge temperatures 10 °C or more colder than would normally be expected. Cold water pollution has impacted more than 1000 km of river habitat in Australia where it is known to impair spawning, feeding and survival of many native fishes.
This report reviews alternative approaches for the mitigation of cold water pollution below dams. The underlying theory and practical limitations of operation as well as field experience (including cost) with each of the methods are discussed. Two methods in particular, suface pumps and submerged curtains, appear to offer cost-effective alternatives to the expensive retrofitting of dams with multi-level outlet structures (estimated to cost $5-35m per dam for major dams in NSW). These methods are predicted to be capable of increasing discharge temperatures by 4-10 ° throughout the range of irrigation releases without any redirection of flows, i.e. hydropower releases can be maintained at present levels. This holds the promise of restoring more desirable temperatures over hundreds of kilometres of river.
Steven Fox, Garry Fyfe
This paper describes some key details of the construction of the Lake Eppalock Main Embankment Remedial Works Project. This $8.25 million earthworks project was completed on a “live” storage to an accelerated program. As the dam owner Goulburn-Murray Water took the decision to directly manage the construction of these works with resultant benefits in timing, risk management and project management costs.
This paper describes the use of a high strength woven geotextile and preloading to stabilise the surface of a very low strength tailings pond, and the incorporation of a geosynthetic clay liner (GCL) within the final capping design to complete closure. The pond, which contains tin and copper tailings, formed the lower tailings containment area of a three-tiered tailings storage, located directly above the Wild River in North Queensland. Stabilising the lower pond (area 2,500 m2), which contained tailings of “zero strength” in the central area involved the placement of a woven geotextile over the surface, which was anchored around the perimeter. The placement of finger berms (preloading fill) on the geotextile was successful without exceeding the bearing capacity of the tailings overall. Settlements of the berms were closely monitored to allow the system to support construction plant. After the finger berms were joined, they were widened until the area was covered. A sand layer was then placed over the area followed by a GCL to form an impermeable barrier prior to the placement of clay and topsoil.
Jack Rynn, John Pix, Garry Grant and Albert Hill
Ground motions resulting from seismic activity can cause significant damage to existing dams. For this reason, monitoring of seismic activity is an important component of a dam safety management program. Similarly, the long term gathering of data on regional seismic activity provides a sound platform for structural adequacy checks of components of existing dams under seismic loading, as well as for future dam design. In this context, the South East Queensland Water Corporation Ltd (SEQWater) and its predecessors have been monitoring earthquake activity in relation to the Wivenhoe, Somerset and North Pine Dams in South East Queensland since 1977. In 1998, SEQWater upgraded the seismic instrumentation with a digital telemetered seismic surveillance system (DTSSS) six-station network to replace the original analogue seven-station network. This state-of-the-art instrumentation was supplied and installed by Nanometrics Inc., Canada through an international tendering process. This paper presents an overview of the DTSSS, results to date and future planning for an integrated strong ground motion accelerograph network.