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IS 12633 : 1989

(Reaffirmed 2000)
Edition 1.2
(2004-03)

Indian Standard
FIRST FILLING AND EMPTYING OF
PRESSURE TUNNELS — GUIDELINES

(Incorporating Amendment Nos. 1 & 2)

UDC 627.842 : 621.6.057.21/.4

© BIS 2004

BUREAU OF INDIAN STANDARDS


MANAK BHAVAN , 9 BAHADUR SHAH ZAFAR MARG
NEW DELHI 110002

Price Group 3
Water Conductor Systems Sectional Committee, BDC 58

FOREWORD

This Indian Standard was adopted by the Bureau of Indian Standards on 24 February 1989, after
the draft finalized by the Water Conductor Systems Sectional Committee had been approved by
the Civil Engineering Division Council.
The pressure tunnel is a part of water conductor system and hence the filling and emptying is
linked with overall planning of filling and emptying of the water conductor system.
The schedule of first filling and emptying of tunnel for a project shall be prepared and discussed
among design and field engineers in detail before commencement of operation.
This edition 1.2 incorporates Amendment No. 1 (August 1992) and Amendment No. 2 (March
2004). Side bar indicates modification of the text as the result of incorporation of the amendments.
IS 12633 : 1989

Indian Standard
FIRST FILLING AND EMPTYING OF
PRESSURE TUNNELS — GUIDELINES
1 SCOPE smooth.
1.1 This standard covers the guidelines and b) It shall be repaired, wherever required
precautions to be observed for first filling and preferably with resin based hardeners.
emptying of the pressure tunnels of water c) It shall be ensured that all cold joints are
conductor system of hydro-electric projects. properly treated and the holes for grouting
be sealed perfectly and the surface ground
2 GENERAL smooth.
2.1 Water conductor system of a hydro-electric d) It shall be ensured that contact grouting
project generally consists of the following has been done in the prescribed reaches
components: and shall be in accordance with the design
a) Intake structure, requirements.
b) Head race tunnels, e) It shall be ensured that consolidation
grouting has been done in the prescribed
c) Surge tank,
reaches and shall be in accordance with
d) Valve house, the design requirements.
e) By-pass, f) It shall be ensured that all the points, such
f) Penstocks/pressure shafts, as, man-hole construction adits, etc, have
g) Draft tube, been properly sealed/plugged in
accordance with design requirements.
h) Downstream surge tank, and
g) It shall be ensured that all the
j) Tail race. instruments required for observations
3 CHECK LIST before filling, during filling and after
filling have been installed at required
3.1 Before commencement of filling operation, locations and are in proper working order.
it shall be ensured that all construction
material, labour and departmental personnel h) Drainage holes and dewatering pipe,
are cleared from the entire water system. wherever provided, shall be checked and it
Before actually filling the system, the following shall be ensured that these are
checks (3.1.1 to 3.1.9) shall be exercised. functioning properly and there is no
particle flow.
3.1.1 Intake Structure j) It shall be ensured that proper
a) Trash-rack and air vent shall be cleaned arrangements for gradual filling and
and its cleaning device shall be checked. dewatering are functioning properly.
In projects where trash-rack cleaning k) It shall be ensured that there is no
device is not equipped, the racks shall be obstruction in the air vent pipes, where
inspected manually. provided, and around outlet and inlet
b) Gates/stop logs shall be checked for their pipes.
seals, tracks, guides and smooth operation m) It shall be ensured that the adit gates,
of gates. Filler valves shall also be where provided, are working and sealing
checked, if provided. have been bolted/locked properly.
c) Hoisting arrangements shall be checked 3.1.3 Surge Tank
for proper operation.
a) Gates/stop logs, wherever provided, in the
d) Automatic system for operation and surge tank shall be checked for their seals,
alarms shall be checked. tracks, guides, etc, by lowering/raising in
e) A telephone/wireless set shall be provided respective slots or all the slots. It is also
at gate with trained crews posted for necessary to check filler valves to ensure
operation of gate. balanced operation of gates.
3.1.2 Head Race Tunnel b) Hoisting arrangement for the above shall
be checked for proper operation.
a) It shall be thoroughly inspected. All the
construction material/equipment shall be c) Water level indicators, automatic system
removed and the tunnel cleared of all for operation and all the alarms shall be
extraneous material such as left over checked.
concrete lumps, projections, protruding d) Drainage galleries, if provided, around the
dowels, etc. These should be ground surge tank shall be cleaned.

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IS 12633 : 1989

e) Man holes, construction adits, etc, shall be stage shall be completed in all respects
properly plugged in accordance with the and certified by the manufacturer and the
design requirement. erector.
f) Air vent shall be clear of any obstruction. b) The staff, required for the operation of
g) It shall be ensured that the instruments power plant shall be in position and
needed for observation before filling, assume the specific duties.
during filling and after filling are installed c) Adequate number of spare dewatering
at required places and are in working pumps shall be in position at various
order. floors of the power house.
NOTE — The above checks apply to upstream as well as d) All temporary stops provided during the
downstream surge tanks.
construction shall be removed and tested
3.1.4 Penstocks/Pressure Shafts against full tail race level.
a) Entire length of penstocks/pressure shafts e) All drainage and dewatering pumps shall
shall be thoroughly cleaned. The be conditioned and made in operational
penstocks shall be painted and completed condition.
in all respects and inspected for before f) Turbine seals shall be tested and checked
filling the water. for perfect sealing.
b) All the machine inlet valves shall be g) Inlet valve seals shall be tested and
checked for proper operation. checked for perfect sealing.
c) All the bolts of man-holes shall be checked h) Alternative source of power supply for
and tightened. working all auxiliaries in the power house
d) All the bolts of the seals of expansion shall be ensured round the clock.
joints of penstocks should be tested and j) Electrical/auxiliary crane shall be in
team kept ready with required kit to carry operating condition and tested.
out tightening as required in case of k) All vacuum valves and air release valve
leakage.
and drainage valves shall be tested.
e) In case of rockers provided as supports for m) The security staff and security
penstocks, these should be set and greased arrangement shall be completed to restrict
for free movement. the entry of unauthorized person in the
f) Any instruments provided in pressure power house.
shafts or on anchor blocks shall be n) The staff for operation and maintenance
monitored. of the power house shall be in position and
g) It shall be ensured that grouting holes are full contingent shall be detailed on shift
properly plugged and repainted. duties before initial filling starts.
h) It shall be ensured that the air vents are 3.1.7 By-Pass
clear of any obstruction and air valves are
working properly. a) The gates/stoplogs, where provided, shall
be checked for their seals, track, guides,
j) It shall be ensured that filling and etc, by lowering/raising in respective slots
dewatering systems are working properly. or all the slots as the case may be.
3.1.5 Valve House b) It shall be ensured that the liners and
The following checks shall be carried out on embedded metal works are painted
valves before filling operation is started: properly.
c) It shall be ensured that drainage
a) All hydraulic and electrical systems arrangement around the by-pass has been
should be checked. provided in accordance with design
b) The air inlet valve and vacuum breaking requirements.
valves should be cleared for overflow of d) It shall be ensured that the air vents are
any water. clear of any obstruction.
c) The drain from the valve house should be e) It shall be ensured that arrangement for
cleared for overflow of any water. gradual filling/dewatering are functioning
d) The communication between valve house properly.
and power house shall be tested. f) It shall be ensured that the alarm system
e) The control system from the control room indicating the start of by-pass
to the valve house shall be checked and arrangement is working properly.
tested for proper operation.
3.1.8 Draft Tubes
3.1.6 Power House a) All the draft tubes shall be clean and
a) All pre-commissioning test in the dry ready for running.

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IS 12633 : 1989

b) Draft tube gates and their hoisting may be flashed across easily and quickly
arrangement shall be checked for their without any loss of time.
smooth operation. 6 CHECKS BEFORE START OF FILLING
3.1.9 Tail Race 6.1 Obtain final clearance ensuring that no
The following checks in addition to those man or material of any kind has been left in the
mentioned in 3.1.2 shall be carried out: tunnel and other works. The engineer in-charge
a) The temporary cofferdam on downstream, shall himself inspect the tunnel and other
if any, shall be removed. works and ensure that no material or
equipment has been left inside, before he orders
b) Pumps for dewatering the tail race should closing of access doors/manholes.
be ready at hand.
6.2 Check that access door/manholes are
c) The area around the tail race should be properly closed and locked.
cleared of all obstructions for any
immediate movement of equipment. 6.3 Check that all the draft tube gates are in
raised position.
d) After dry testing of draft tube gates, water
6.4 Check that all the main inlet valves are
should be filled in tail race by pumping
and following systems in power house be closed.
checked for proper functioning: 6.5 Check that the guide vanes of all the
machines are closed with oil pressure applied.
1) Operation of draft tube gates under
(Apply generator brakes to prevent creeping, if
water,
necessary).
2) Cooling water system for power house, 6.6 Check that the surge shaft gates/stoplogs
3) Pressure filters in the power house, are in open position.
4) Draft tube dewatering system, 6.7 Check the reservoir level. The filling should
5) Emulsifier pumps in the power house, only start when the reservoir level is at or
and above the minimum permissible level.
6) All drainage and dewatering system. 7 FILLING OF THE SYSTEM
e) In case of any malfunctioning, the tail race 7.1 General
may be emptied by pumping and refilled Filling is normally done from the downstream
after rectifying the defects. end of the water conductor system, that is, the
f) The tail race and draft tube shall be filled machine inlet valve. However, in case of long
up to minimum water level before the head race tunnel, where a surge shaft is
start of initial filling. provided, the system shall be filled initially up
4 LOCATION OF OBSERVATION POINTS to the surge shaft, if provided with gates,
otherwise up to the emergency valves
4.1 Before filling the water conductor system,
the observation points shall be judiciously downstream of valve. The portion of water
located at convenient places along the system. conductor system between the emergency
Such points may be located near the tunnel valves downstream of shaft and the main inlet
plugs (such as, those at intermediate adits in a valve provided just upstream of the machine
long tunnel) and in the vicinity of the surge may be filled up only after detection and
shaft and along the penstocks slopes (say, in rectification of leakage upstream of the
the upper expansion chamber). Observation butterfly valve.
points shall also be located at water systems, 7.1.1 The water conductor system shall be filled
such as, existing springs, water level in wells, at very slow rate so that the internal pressure
retaining walls, etc, in low cover reaches and increases gradually and the surrounding
monitored after filling. If any leakage is conditions get sufficient time for stabilization.
observed at the observation point or an
appreciable drop in surge tank water level is 7.1.2 In case of gated arrangement, the leakage
seen, the same shall be reported and attended on gates shall be checked and ascertained for
to immediately. Since minor leakages through the efficacy of the seals. This shall apply to
plug concrete may be anticipated, grouting penstock and draft tube gates also.
equipment, such as, grout pumps, pipes, 7.1.3 The water conductor system shall be filled
nozzles, drilling machine, cement, sand, water, at a slow rate so that there is no scope for the
etc, shall be kept handy for urgent air to get entrapped, compressed and then
requirements. released.
5 COMMUNICATION FACILITIES 7.2 Initial Filling
5.1 Communication facilities, such as, 7.2.1 Depending upon the length of the system,
walkie-talkie and/or telephone shall be number of probable seepage observation points
provided at the intake as well as at all and filling requirements, the total time taken
observation points so that important messages to complete the initial filling shall be estimated.

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IS 12633 : 1989

This can be calculated and arrived at once the investigated and remedial measures
volume of water required to fill the system is should be taken. Next filling steps shall
known. only be taken after ensuring that drop in
water level in the preceding step is within
7.2.2 Following steps shall be followed for the pre-determined limits.
initial filling:
p) All gates, stoplogs, observation points,
a) Gates of intake shall be lowered and pond valves and expansion joints on penstocks
level maintained at desired level with the shall be monitored for leakage during and
help of spillway gates and/or other after filling.
discharge outlets.
b) Surge shaft gates/butterfly valve and 7.3 Filling of Tail Race System
machine inlet valve gate shall be kept 7.3.1 The tail race shall be filled up to the
closed.
minimum tail water level gradually. In case of
c) If filling is to be done by crack opening, power houses having a deep setting, the filling
intake gate shall be raised up to the of the tail race may have to be accomplished by
height calculated by estimating the pumping water into it from a source located
discharge requirements for filling up the near the tail race.
system in the programmed schedule of
time frame of filling. The velocity should 8 EMPTYING THE SYSTEM
be restricted to about 6 m/sec. The
crack-opening would generally be of the 8.1 If quantity of leakage or any other situation
order of 20 to 40 mm. warrants emptying the tunnel or entire water
conductor system, following procedure and
d) Surge shaft gates/butterfly valves, precautions shall be adopted:
machine inlet valves, penstock couplings,
etc, shall be checked and tested. a) Close all the intake gates.
e) The tunnel shall be filled in appropriate b) Emptying of the tunnel shall be done
pre-determined steps of water head so through the by-pass. However, if no
that excessive tension in the lining is by-pass is provided, the water shall be
avoided. The steps may be worked out on discharged through the turbine.
the basis of known properties of the
surrounding rock mass. c) Before emptying the system through the
f) A waiting period of at least 48 h shall be turbine, it shall be ensured that the flow is
allowed between first and second steps of just sufficient to run the machine at no
filling and of at least 24 h between each load and the generator is not being
subsequent steps of filling. connected.
g) Water levels in the surge tank shall be d) Rate of emptying the tunnel shall be
recorded concurrently during the filling slower than the rate of filling. Emptying of
operation. the tunnel shall be done in steps. In no
case, the number of steps in emptying
h) At the end of each step of filling, the
shall be less than the number of steps
intake gates shall be closed and water
followed in filling. The number of steps
levels in the surge tank shall be observed
may be increased if a smaller discharge is
every hour. The loss of water from tunnel
to be passed through the machines.
through drainage galleries around surge
tank and leakage through machine inlet e) Suitable waiting period shall be allowed
valve shall also be noted. between each step of emptying.
j) Close monitoring of instruments installed
in head race tunnel, surge tank and 9 PRECAUTIONS BEFORE ENTERING
penstock shall be done before, during and THE TUNNEL AFTER EMPTYING
after filling of the system.
9.1 On opening the access door/manhole, there
k) The water conductor system shall be filled may be ventilation due to the stock effect of the
maintaining the reservoir water level as surge shaft. This may clear limited areas on
low as possible. The water level shall be either side of the surge shaft. Other areas may
raised slowly in the reservoir as far as be oxygen deficient, contain hydrogen sulphide
practicable till it reaches the maximum and/or methane. The water in the tunnel has
reservoir level. been gradually lowered, giving time for any
m) If the drop in water level is more at any gases (CO2, CO, CH4, SO2, H2S) in the water to
step, the reasons for leakage shall be be liberated.

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IS 12633 : 1989

9.2 Keep the access door/manhole open for 12 h the tunnel.


to permit fresh air draft inside the tunnel and
thus to bring humidity to a safe level for human 9.4 Send an advance party with gum boots,
breathing. raincoats, torch lights for a distance of 500 m
9.3 Do not enter the tunnel without carrying (or less if they feel uneasy) only and report
personal monitoring equipment and have back. Depending upon the condition of water
breathing apparatus within reach. Under no and slush, carry out regular inspection either
circumstances, less than two persons shall on foot or on a vehicle with spot lights mounted
enter or move within the adit or any section of on it.

5
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Review of Indian Standards


Amendments are issued to standards as the need arises on the basis of comments. Standards are also
reviewed periodically; a standard along with amendments is reaffirmed when such review indicates that no
changes are needed; if the review indicates that changes are needed, it is taken up for revision. Users of
Indian Standards should ascertain that they are in possession of the latest amendments or edition by
referring to the latest issue of ‘BIS Catalogue’ and ‘Standards : Monthly Additions’.
This Indian Standard has been developed from Doc : No. BDC 58 (4467)

Amendments Issued Since Publication


Amend No. Date of Issue
Amd. No. 1 August 1992
Amd. No. 2 March 2004

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