Essential construction repair work to ensure the safety and integrity of EJ Beardmore Dam near St George has been completed. The finished work will allow the dam to return to normal operations and refill in the event of an inflow.
Sunwater Area Operations Manager South John Kelly said it would help to secure long-term water supplies for the area’s irrigation and urban customers.
“We’re very pleased to have completed the dam safety work in a safe and timely manner,” he said.
“Sunwater takes its responsibility to operate and maintain infrastructure on behalf of regional Queenslanders seriously.”
The dam safety repair work was undertaken both on the dam outlet – which releases water into the Thuraggi irrigation channel – and Thuraggi Channel, immediately downstream of the outlet.
To complete the construction project, it was necessary to lower the dam water level to five per cent (4,000 megalitres), and maintain it at that level throughout construction.
A temporary coffer dam constructed as a short-term storage solution will be removed in the coming weeks. Sunwater’s contractor will remain on-site until the end of September to complete minor rock protection work in the channel.
Sunwater worked closely with Mallawa Irrigation and other customers in the lead up to, and throughout the work to minimise and manage any short-term impacts.
Mr Kelly thanked irrigators for their cooperation and patience during the construction period. “We understand how important water supply is for growers and what impact any interruption can have,” he said. “Sunwater’s focus was always to balance the needs of customers with achieving a stable dam structure and ensuring the region’s long-term water security.”
Mr Kelly praised the efforts of Sunwater’s southern region staff who have worked with customers to mitigate water losses while ensuring the work was prioritised.
“The solution is a culmination of intensive effort by Sunwater, Mallawa Irrigation, private storage owners as well as the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy,” he said.
Between April and August 2019, key construction activities completed for the EJ Beardmore Dam work included:
- construction of the downstream coffer dam
- dewatering of the channel; installation of the groundwater dewatering system
- demolition of the existing concrete outlet
- foundation excavation and reinforcement for the new structure
- construction of a new 40-metre outlet structure which incorporates new filter zones.
Sunwater Media Team
Phone: +61 7 3120 0047