SunWater dams are designed to handle expected cyclone inflows

01 Feb 2011

SunWater dams throughout North Queensland are designed to safely manage the major inflows expected from Cyclone Yasi.

SunWater Infrastructure Management General Manager Barry Jeppesen said all SunWater dams were in good condition and well prepared for the storms and cyclone events likely to hit the Queensland coast over the next 48 hours.

“All of our dams undergo regular and comprehensive safety assessments each year and are more than capable of handling the volumes of inflow we are likely to see as a result of Cyclone Yasi,” Mr Jeppesen said.

“We design our dams with public safety as the highest priority and construct them with the Queensland climate in mind and to withstand extreme rainfall events that occur during this type of cyclone activity.

“Our comprehensive and safety-focused operating procedures adhered to by our experienced dam operators ensure our storages pose no risk to the general public during cyclone events,” he said.  

Mr Jeppesen said with all SunWater dams currently full, a lot of public interest had been focused on whether SunWater should start releasing stored water in readiness for expected heavy inflows.

“Releasing water from dam outlet valves will not reduce flooding associated with major events, as these dams are not designed or operated as flood mitigation storages” he said.

“SunWater’s dams are designed to store water to full capacity then safely manage any further excess inflows by diverting them through purpose built spillway overflows.

Mr Jeppesen said SunWater staff were working around the clock monitoring and operating all SunWater’s dams and this would continue during the expected cyclone activity.

“During the likely cyclone activity, our staff will continue to monitor all inflows into our dam catchment zones and based on that data operate the dam in line with established operating guidelines,” he said.

Mr Jeppesen said SunWater had comprehensive communication protocols in place which ensured all relevant emergency services and counter disaster groups were updated regularly during cyclone events, to ensure those agencies can fulfill their role of advising downstream stakeholders of any appropriate action that needs to be taken.

Media Enquiries

Olga Kakourakis
Corporate Relations Manager
Phone +61 7 3120 0043
Mobile 0423 824 860

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