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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.
D. S. Bowles
Portfolio risk assessment (PRA) can now be considered to be a standard of practice in Australia. In this paper various advances in the state-of-the-practice for performing PRA’s are reviewed, including some pitfalls and limitations. The uses of PRA outcomes by owners are discussed, along with some ways to improve the value derived from PRAs. The challenges that are common in seeking to achieve an integration of the PRA process into the owner’s dam safety management program and with broader business processes, and the importance of targeting PRA outcomes to an owner’s specific business needs, are emphasised.
Mark Locke, Buddhima Indraratna, Phillip Cummins and Gamini Adikari
ABSTRACT: Australia has a large number of older embankment dams, which have been in service and performed adequately for over 50 years. However, current industry practice in embankment dam design predicts that the granular filters within these dams may not be adequate. This may require refurbishment of the dam by retro-fitting a new filter to ensure the continued safety of the structure. This paper outlines the potential problems with older embankment dam designs, and the reasons for constructing a new filter. Potential problems may include inadequate or non-existent filters, risk of failure due to earthquake, piping, or excessive foundation seepage. Design methods for granular filters are described briefly, concentrating on whether an existing filter is adequate, and the potential improvement by constructing a new filter. Construction issues for placing filters on existing dams are also discussed.
A new analytical method, developed to describe the time dependent erosion and filtration within embankment dams, is described briefly. The model predicts particle erosion, transport and retention based on fundamental fluid mechanics and geotechnical concepts. The application of this model to the design of filters for new and existing dams will be described. The predictions of such analytical modelling can give a designer a significantly clearer picture of the purpose of a granular filter, the extent of core erosion that can be expected, and the effect of retrofitting a new filter to an existing dam.
Glen Hobbs and Danny Azavedo
Recent years have seen a growing awareness and understanding of the factors that contribute to the reliability of spillway gates and the incorporation of reliability data into overall dam risk studies.
The study of a number of spillway gate failures shows that no one component or incident leads to gate failure, but rather a combination of factors have resulted in gate failure. A rigorous reliability assessment should consider all factors, not only the equipment condition and performance but the complete system, from the receipt of data through to the actuation of the gates. It should take into account issues such as human factors, poor design, maintenance history and policy. Unfortunately one of the main hindrances to quantifying gate reliability is the lack of information on spillway gate equipment and system performance and failures.
This paper considers a number of gate failures, then looks at some of the tools of reliability assessment and the role of human factors in gate reliability.
The paper then discusses a recent study of four gated dams. For this study a systems approach was adopted and human factors were considered. The results compare favourably with other similar critical structures, and show that for these well designed and maintained structures human factors are the limiting criteria in multiple gate operations. The study also shows that the probability of opening all the spillway gates at a dam improves with time (2-4 hours) during the flood operation, and it is considered that time based reliability provides a more meaningful and useful assessment of overall spillway gate reliability.
Robert Wark, Nihal Vitharana and Michael Somerford
This paper reviews the history of dam remedial works on publicly-owned dams in Western Australia over the last 40 years. Projects have ranged from refurbishment of the facilities, through capacity upgrades to complete reconstruction. Major work has been undertaken on at least thirty dams. Most of these dams are now owned by Western Australia’s Water Corporation. The Corporation continues to undertake remedial works where necessary and now has a strategy in place for an on-going program of remedial works.
The paper outlines the scope of the work undertaken and why the work was required. The current status of the Corporation’s planning for an on-going remedial works program is also reported.