Peter Faust Dam at highest level on record

21 Dec 2010

Significant rainfall across the Whitsunday region has delivered a new record for Peter Faust Dam at Proserpine, with water levels at the highest they’ve ever been.

SunWater Area Operations Manager Colin Bendall said that Peter Faust Dam is currently at 99.3% of capacity (486,745ML) and slowly rising.

“The dam has now surpassed its highest level on record which was 98.8% in March 1991,” Mr Bendall said.

Mr Bendall said given the recent rainfall received in the catchment, it is likely the storage will be at 100% by the end of the week.

“Now that the dam is brimming with water, a minor overflow event is almost certain which will be the first since the dam was constructed in 1990. Following recent rain and forecast of more rain in the future, it’s probably just a matter of days until we can witness some water passing over the spillway.

“Twenty years is certainly a long wait to see the first ever overflow event, given that other dams further north spill annually,” Mr Bendall said.

The water level is currently sitting at 100mm below the spillway crest and rising slowly with a 0.1% increase in storage level over the last 24 hour period. Mr Bendall said waves caused by wind were starting to spill over the concrete apron of the spillway but the storage would need to rise a further 100mm to reach full supply level.

In comparison, the dam was at 72.9% one year ago, and down to 10.7% three years ago in 2007 when it hit its lowest levels on record.

Mr Bendall said that the dam is designed to safely pass water over the spillway when the dam’s water storage is above full capacity and there are no concerns associated with the safety of the dam’s infrastructure.

“The only safety concern I have is that the public take extra care when visiting the dam and please obey the safety signs and stay away from the spillway and dam embankment. We expect a significant increase in the number of visitors to the dam over the Christmas and New Year period especially with the Dam spilling for the first time.

“We don’t want to discourage visitors from enjoying the spectacle but please take extra safety precautions as dams can be dangerous and unpredictable places.

“Many people fail to recognise the unpredictability and force of fast flowing water and also the dangers posted by submerged rocks and debris in the water,” he said.

SunWater will continue to monitor the dam and take all necessary action, including liaising with stakeholder and relevant authorities in line with the storages’ operating guidelines.

 

Media Enquiries

Olga Kakourakis
Corporate Relations Manager
Phone +61 7 3120 0043
Mobile 0423 824 860
Email olga.kakourakis@sunwater.com.au

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