Additional water releases commenced at Paradise Dam

02 Apr 2013

SunWater advises that additional water releases have commenced at Paradise Dam to pass river flows around the worksite without overtopping the spillway so that works can continue.

SunWater Chief Executive Officer, Peter Boettcher, said that when works commenced at Paradise Dam releases were made to stop the dam from overflowing to enable safe access for the repairs to be carried out.

"We made water releases from the dam’s environmental flow outlet gate until the water level was 2 metres below the spillway to provide a buffer in the storage so that works could safely be carried out," Mr Boettcher said.

"However, due to recent rainfall and continued and increasing inflows in the storage, the water level had risen to within 30cm of the spillway.

"To prevent the dam from spilling and maintain a safe buffer for the repair works, we recommenced water releases on Monday, 1 April."

Mr Boettcher said that the release rate from the dam is expected to be around 20,000 megalitres per day, with releases expected to occur over the next three days until the water level is drawn down to 2 metres below the spillway.

"We are taking this course of action because the safety of our staff, our customers and the local community is our utmost consideration throughout this repair construction at the dam; it is imperative that there is a safe buffer at the dam to allow works to continue."

"Minor flooding is expected to occur downstream of the dam; however SunWater has well established communication protocols and our customers and residents living downstream of the dam, along with the council, police, the local disaster management group and dam safety regulator have been contacted about these water releases."

Mr Boettcher said that the release water is drawn from the upper layers of the lake. In addition, the Department of Natural Resources and Mines conducts continuous automated water quality monitoring in the Burnett River at sites upstream and downstream of Paradise Dam.

"The monitoring results, in addition to extra on-site monitoring carried out by SunWater, indicate that the downstream water quality has not been adversely affected by releases from Paradise Dam," he said.


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