Leslie Dam gates open first time in 22 years

06 Jan 2011

Leslie Dam filled to 100% capacity last night at approximately 9:15pm for the first time in 22 years.

Leslie Dam is the main water storage for the Upper Condamine Water Supply Scheme. Water flows into the dam from Sandy Creek and outflows eventually end up in the Condamine River.

To release floodwaters the gates are raised to allow the excess water to pass beneath them. The gate operation is controlled by a computer system which continually monitors the water level of the storage, and adjusts the gate opening to maintain an appropriate release rate.

Currently all gates at Leslie are open and SunWater is releasing approximately 10,440 megalites per day.

Leslie Dam levels have been high enough to reach the gates only twice since it was upgraded in 1986.

The 12/09/1988 is the highest on record when in reached 20cm above the spillway, the second time was on the 28/05/1990 when it reached 13cm over spillway.

The lowest that Leslie Dam has been was on the 11/02/1995 when it was only at 3% of its capacity.

Leslie Dam has been designed to safety pass flood water through its purpose built gates.

SunWater staff are on site at the dam to regularly monitor and undertake operational activities as required.

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

SunWater has contact all relevant local authorities to advise them of the water release and the course of action being taken and will continue to liaise with them and other stakeholders as required.

SunWater is also appealing  to the community and particularly young people to stay away from and not swim or play in or around overflowing dams or weirs .

This wet season has seen a large number of SunWater storages throughout Queensland fill and overflow. In some locations this has been an event that has not occurred for decades.

An overflowing dam or weir can easily become a dangerous place and members of the public need to be aware of the dangers of swimming in and around overflowing dams, weirs and barrages.

Fast flowing debris can cause injury or worse if struck, and increased water volume and pressure can force people underwater.

Swimming around dams and weirs poses a very real risk for everyone and especially children, who sometimes don’t understand the dangers these places represent.

It’s at this time of year that children are most likely to want to swim around these areas in order to cool off throughout the hotter months.

Dams and weirs and barrages can be dangerous and unpredictable places. It is essential that visitors obey all signs and stay out of the water when they are overflowing or full to the crest and about to overflow.

Many people fail to recognise the unpredictability and force of fast flowing water, and the only way to stay safe is to keep out of them
Background

In 1980 work began on the second stage which consisted of raising the abutments by 2.8 metres, constructing six concrete piers on the spillway crest and installing seven steel radial crest gates on the spillway. The radial gates are each 6.6 metres high, 12.8 metres wide and weigh 34 tonnes.

Completion of the Stage II works was in 1986 and doubled the storage capacity of the dam.

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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