QLD – Dam Improvement Program strengthens SunWater’s dams

Author: SunWater Limited.

SunWater’s experienced team is delivering an extensive Dam Improvement Program ensuring a strong future of reliable water supply from SunWater’s dams.

The program was originally implemented in 2006 and involves regular detailed assessments of each of SunWater’s dams and a 20 year program of improvement works to maintain the highest level of safety.

SunWater Chief Executive, Peter Boettcher, believes the safety of SunWater’s dams is very important and, since 2006, SunWater have completed six dam safety improvement projects at Fred Haigh Dam, Bjelke Petersen Dam, Borumba Dam (now owned by Seqwater), Tinaroo Falls Dam, Kinchant Dam and Eungella Dam.

“Our Dam Improvement Program involves a measured plan to ensure our dams continue to be able to hold and safely pass excess volumes of water during periods of extreme rainfall and satisfy modern standards.

Following comprehensive assessments, dam improvement works have been prioritised in order to reduce overall dam safety risk across SunWater’s portfolio of dams through a continuous risk reduction program”, Mr Boettcher said.

In the coming year, SunWater will be completing works as part of the Dam Improvement Program at Fairbairn Dam and Paradise Dam.

SunWater Senior Project Manager, Andre Retief said the Fairbairn Dam Spillway Improvement Project will involve the installation of new drains and anchors that are expected to last the lifetime of the spillway structure.

“The maintenance works will ensure the dam spillway continues to function as designed, and in a manner that minimises the impact that an extreme weather event could have on the dam structure”, he said.

The new anchors will be installed in accordance with current best practice design and construction of a mass reinforced concrete overlay across the steepest parts of the spillway. These works are scheduled to commence in April 2016 and are planned to be substantially completed prior to the 2016-17 wet season, dependent on weather and access to the site.

Following Stage 1, a further assessment will be undertaken by SunWater’s engineers to determine whether additional (Stage 2) works are required on the remainder of the spillway.

Fairbairn Dam was constructed in 1972 and has seen many dam outflows over the years and the planned works are part of maintaining the dam to the highest dam safety standards.

SunWater has also committed to complete the Paradise Dam Stage 2 Improvement Project this year.

SunWater’s Senior Construction Manager, Lawrence Fahey said SunWater has commenced detailed design of the identified Paradise Dam Stage 2 Improvement Project and construction will likely commence in May 2016.

“The project involves strengthening the areas where the dam wall intersects the downstream dissipator apron on the left and right hand side of the primary spillway.

“While Paradise Dam can safely withstand the largest floods previously experienced, the detailed engineering assessments have identified areas where the dam could be further strengthened to withstand floods greater than those that would normally be expected during the life of the dam.”, he said.

Paradise Dam was constructed in 2005 and supplies water to the Bundaberg region.

For more information about SunWater’s Dam Improvement Program, please view http://www.sunwater.com.au/future-developments/all-projects/dam-improvement-program.

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