2010 – Performance of Taum Sauk Upper Reservoir Dam During Reservoir Refill

Jared Deible, John Osterle, Charles Weatherford, Tom Hollenkamp, Matt Frerking

The original rockfill dike, constructed in 1963 to form the Upper Reservoir at the Taum Sauk Pump Storage Project near Lesterville, MO failed on December 14, 2005. The Upper Reservoir has been completely rebuilt as a 2.83 million cubic yard (2.16 million cubic meters) Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) Dam in compliance with FERC Regulations. The project is the largest RCC project constructed in the USA and is the first pumped storage project to utilize an RCC water retaining structure. The project is owned and operated by AmerenUE and consists of an Upper Reservoir and a Lower Reservoir connected by a vertical shaft, rock tunnel, and penstock. The Powerhouse has two pump-turbines with a total generation capacity of 450MW.

A refill plan was developed to monitor the performance of the dam during the first refill. Because it is a pumped storage project with no natural inflow, the reservoir level can be raised and lowered with reversible pump turbines. The refill plan includes hold points when the dam s performance will be assessed at eight reservoir levels. Monitoring of the performance of the dam is done through instrumentation readings and visual inspections. Inspections check for alignment changes, leakage, seepage, cracking, or any other unusual or changed conditions. Instrumentation monitored during the refill program includes piezometers, seepage weirs, survey monuments, and joint meters. The level control system for the project was also evaluated during the refill program. This paper summarizes the monitoring and inspections conducted during the refill and the performance of the dam during this period, and the performance of the dam during the initial period after the refill program.

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