Dam Liner for White River Dams

The White River Dams hydro project included building two dam liners. Located on the White River, the hydro project is approximately 50km south of the town of White River in Northern Ontario, Canada. A joint venture between Regional Power and Pic Mobert First Nation, construction began in August 2013 and is expected to continue through 2016. There are two separate hydro generation sites Gitchi Animki Bezhig (Upper) and Gitchi Animki Niizh (Lower) located 10km from each other, both are ‘greenfield’ projects.

Project ScopeWhite River Dams Project

The dam liner was designed to be a free-standing low-permeability wall, laid on a concrete foundation tied to the riverbed, held inside a plinth of compacted rock and gravel. Challenges with coating and sealing to achieve the required low permeability excluded conventional steel sheet piles in favor of composite. Wolf Remediation Ltd composite sheet pile solution was also favorable when compared on cost over the expected 50 – 70 year lifespan of the dam liner.

With hydraulic head of 14 meters in the Upper Dam, standard 35-foot composite sheet piles were used, joined with hand-applied hydrophilic sealant, to achieve a permeability of no less than 10-11.

The Lower Dam, with a hWhite River composite installationydraulic head of 21 meters, required a dam liner 72-foot in height. With the longest composite sheet available being 52-foot, Wolf Remediation Ltd designed, tested and built an H-Clip to join sheets vertically, extending the wall to the required height.

To support the extended sheets while being installed, Wolf Remediation Ltd project lead designed a tailored framing solution of soldier piles and whalers.

Development and TestingWhite River Dams

The stainless steel prototype H-Clip (patent pending) took six weeks to develop and test. The testing apparatus allowed the H-Clip between two sections of 4’ composite sheet pile to place a force downwards to create 2” of deflection while underwater, with 20lbs psi. MWH Global Engineering Vancouver office approved the testing criteria and results.

Wolf Remediation Ltd was able to test their sealing techniques in the joints of the sheets to allow for 70’ of head pressure on the upstream side of the Dam wall. This testing was done with pressure of up to 110lbs psi with no leakage.

White River Hydropower Project featured at 2016 Canadian Dam Association (CDA) Conference

White Paper presented on FRP composite sheet pile for use as an alternative core for water retention dams

The use of FRP sheet piling as the core of a hydropower dam is relatively unique. This paper focuses on the use of the sheet pile core in the dam design and includes a summary of the testing and analyses performed to evaluate the FRP sheet pile core material, a review of the methods adopted for construction, the lessons learned during the construction of the dams, and presents a summary of the instrumentation installed at both dams.

This paper is intended to serve as a reference for those considering the use of FRP sheet piling in a similar application.

Wolf Remediation Ltd composite sheet pile solutions offer an alternative to conventional materials and have a wide range of uses. With a high strength to low weight ratio, composite sheet piling affords easier handling, more economical shipping, lower maintenance on installation, and a longer life-span. An environmentally sensitive solution with no compromise.