New record for Fairbairn Dam

31 Dec 2010

Fairbairn Dam reached a new record last night with water flowing over the spillway more than one meter over the previous record.

SunWater Acting Service Delivery Manager Neil Farrell said, the peak overflow at the dam was reached at around Midnight on Thursday 30 December 2010, where the water was recorded at 5.58 metres above the spillway.

“At the time Fairbairn Dam was 176% capacity at EL209.81, holding around 2,289,129 ML and discharging 373,016 ML per day,” Mr Farrell said.

“The previous peak event was on the 22 January 2008. The corresponding peak level was 4.44 m above the dam’s Full Supply Level (EL208.67 m AHD) with an associated volume of 2,060,200 ML. This is equivalent to a volume of 158.3% capacity,” he said.

As at Friday 31 December Fairbairn Dam was at 175% (EL 209.78) or 5.55m above the spillway holding 2,282,899 ML and discharging 370,650 ML/day, with the levels receding at a rate of 0.01m/hr.         

The dam’s total capacity at crest level is 1.3 million megalitres and its catchment takes in 16,000 square km.

SunWater said the inflows were the highest on record for the dam and it was continuing to monitor major inflows into the catchment.

SunWater Acting Area Operations Manager, North Region, Ross Wheeler said SunWater’s Dams have been designed to safety pass flood water through their purpose built spillways.

“Our staff are on site at the dam 24 hours a day regularly monitoring and undertaking operational activities as required during these extreme weather events,” Mr Wheeler said.

SunWater will continue to monitor inflows into the dams catchments and based on that data will operate its dams in line with established dam operating guidelines.

SunWater is in constant contact with all relevant local authorities to advise them of the water passing through the spillway, and will continue to liaise with them and other stakeholders as required.

Summary of SunWater Dam Levels as at 31 December 2010

Region Dam Percentage full Megalitres per day being passed or released
Far North QLD
Tinaroo Falls Dam 103.3% 3,263
Peter Faust Dam 108.0% 4,727
Burdekin Falls Dam 152.4% 553,617
Julius Dam 81.6% 0
North QLD
Eungella Dam 105.9% 5,516
Kinchant Dam 98.1% 0
Teemburra Dam 104.1% 4,100
Fairbairn Dam 175.8% 370,650
Central QLD
Callide Dam 92.1% 0
Kroombit Dam 101.9% 1,621
Cania Dam 101.9% Reading not available at this time
Fred Haigh Dam 129.8% 34,868
Wuruma Dam 107.3% 7,874
Paradise Dam 142% 343,089
Bjelke-Petersen Dam 117.5% 12,119
Boondoomba Dam 107.2% 11,256
South West QLD
Leslie Dam 91.8% 0
Coolmunda Dam 103.2% Reading not available at this time
 Beardmore Dam  101.1% 108,697



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