McKinnon Creek Detention Basin Failure Impact Assessment

Failure Impact Assessment to Ensure Guidelines are Met

Edmonton QLD, Australia

Mitchell Redenbach

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Cairns Regional Council
Edmonton - QLD
Failure Impact Assessment (FIA) of detention basin
Completed FIA including updated dam rating

WMS was engaged by Cairns Regional Council to undertake a comprehensive Failure Impact Assessment (FIA) for the McKinnon Creek Detention Basin to ensure that the basin meets the Guidelines for Failure Impact Assessment of Water Dams (DNRME, 2018).

The project covered the following key aspects:

McKinnon Creek Detention Basin

The hydrology was updated to ARR 2019. The hydraulic assessment of the downstream flood impact was undertaken using the latest version of TUFLOW and the original assessment for overtopping failure was undertaken utilising the QLD DNRME methodology.  The DNRME methodology, however, does not incorporate piping failure, and it was determined through initial discussions that piping around the basin outfall culvert may be the critical failure mechanism.  As such, the most up-to-date literature methodologies were used to determine breach parameters for piping failure and the hydraulic assessment was undertaken using the new TUFLOW 1D piping failure model.

Sunny Day Failure (SDF) was not considered for the basin as it was determined that the basin does not hold water for longer than 3-5 hours and would typically be dry in a SDF.

The number of Population at Risk (PAR) was calculated for each design flood event for four failure modes (overtopping of embankment, overtopping of spillway and piping failure at two locations). 

The critical failure scenario was determined to be piping failure following the alignment of the outlet structure and the PAR determined under this critical failure scenario was determined, with the basin rated under the Act, accordingly.