TasWater – Dam Safety Monitoring
Date: 2017 - ongoing
Delivering an end-to-end upgrade of dam safety monitoring equipment at water storage reservoirs across Tasmania
Maintaining the safety of ageing dam infrastructure is a challenge facing many sectors, particularly mining, hydropower and water utilities. It is vital for dam owners and operators to monitor the condition and safety of their assets in order to prevent dam failure, which could have potentially damaging impacts on communities, resources and asset infrastructure. Having a complete and accurate data archive that tracks parameters such as structural movements, internal pore pressure and leakage, permits engineers and asset managers to quickly respond to changes and improve maintenance strategies.
TasWater own and operate an extensive portfolio of water infrastructure across Tasmania, including Waterworks Upper Reservoir, Lower Reservoir and Ridgeway Dam.
As part of TasWater's dam safety program, Entura were engaged to review, design, supply and install upgraded dam safety monitoring solutions that align with current safety standards at 15 of these sites across Tasmania.
Entura first conducted a thorough assessment of existing instrumentation, recommending upgrades and developing detailed designs that aligned with the ANCOLD 2003 dam safety instrumentation guidelines. We then carried out an end-to-end process of designing, supplying, configuring and installing data collection and telemetry technologies.
Integration with existing infrastructure and in-progress dam upgrade works required adaptable solutions, designed and built in-house to maintain efficiency and quality control. Some dam sites also had unique heritage restrictions, requiring creative design work for the equipment installations and civil works to be carried out.
We were thorough in our delivery of the project, conducting and validating desktop radio path analyses in the field to ensure that all communication paths were optimised to meet client standards. This process helped to improve design efficiency by eliminating the need for field studies, which can be costly and time-consuming.
Our team also designed on and off-grid power solutions to meet the unique environmental limitations at each site, calculating accurate solar and battery bank sizes to allow for adequate redundancies.
Safety was a key concern throughout the installation phase, with each site posing a set of hazards to be addressed and minimised, such as working at heights on dam crests, and working on and around water. Risk assessments were carefully conducted prior to the installation of equipment and appropriate control measures put in place to mitigate any risks, including the use of life jackets, fall restraint systems and applying minimum approach distances.
Entura also performed and recorded a thorough Inspection and Test Plan (ITP) process on the sites prior to commissioning and handover to TasWater, to ensure the solution was fit-for-purpose.
- Dam safety instrumentation design
- SCADA integration
- Radio modelling
Entura’s experienced remote monitoring and water management team delivered a robust and reliable dam surveillance system that will acquire accurate data for many years to come. The team worked closely with TasWater to ensure the commissioning process was seamless, reducing system downtime for internal stakeholders.
The instrumentation upgrades bring dam assets in line with ANCOLD guidelines, minimising the requirement for onsite inspections and freeing up valuable personnel resources.