Dams and power plants

Resident executive design and engineering for Zapotillo dam in the state of Jalisco, Mexico

The dam was built on the Rio Verde, specifically in the Sandovales canyon in the site known as Las Escobas, Piedra Para, currently in the town El Zapotillo, in the municipality of Cañadas de Obregón, in the state of Jalisco. The dam encloses a reservoir with a 909.76 hm3 normal water level capacity and a surface area at this level of 32.9 km2.

Ayesa carried out the final design and engineering work for this project.

The dam is a roller-compacted concrete (RCC) gravity dam. A diversion channel was designed for one of the blocks of the dam, channelling water by means of a RCC cofferdam, perpendicular to the Rio Verde.

The spillway is located on the dam itself and consists of an overfall spillway with a height of 1648.19 masl. It is formed by 6 openings, each measuring 22 m in length, separated by 1.5 m thick pillars, and

a discharge chute that ends in a ski jump which discharges the water into an area of the dissipation basin at the foot of the dam, which returns the water to the channel.

The upstream slope of the curtain is vertical, while the downstream slope is graduated out of the spillway with 90-cm steps and 75 cm tread (0.83 slope). There have two intake towers with 4 intakes each, which are rectangular in shape and are attached to the dam. They have two outlet pipes, which join downstream in the valve chamber, from where they then lead to the Zapotillo aqueduct pumping station.

It is a curved RCC gravity dam, measuring 342 m in crest length and 133 m in height. The reservoir has a total capacity of 909,76 hm3. The total concrete used was 1,200,000 m3, while the excavation volume was around 1,615,000 m3. The upstream slope of the curtain is vertical, while the downstream slope is graduated and has a slope of 1.2V/1H.

The excess flow structure is located on the curtain and consists of a spillway without floodgates. It has a stepped discharge channel that ends in a ski jump, which discharges the water into a dissipation basin at the foot of the dam, which then returns the water to the channel. The design flow of the excess flow structure is 5,051 m3/s and the length of the overfall spill is 132 m, with the width of the buffer tank being 80 m.

There are two water catchment intake towers on the left bank. Each tower has four intakes, with the total catchment system having a total of eight and a total capacity of 16 m3/s. The intake duct has a diameter of 2,100 mm.

The diversion channel was made using reinforced concrete on the left bank for a design flow of 1,050 m3/s. It has a total length of 342 m, a width of 15 m and a height of 8 m. A 25 m high RCC upstream cofferdam was also designed, as well as an 8 metre-high downstream rockfill cofferdam.

Location
Mexico

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