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Home   >   Essential repair work at EJ Beardmore Dam to ensure long-term water security

Essential repair work at EJ Beardmore Dam to ensure long-term water security

Posted on February 22nd, 2019

Essential repair work is required at EJ Beardmore Dam to ensure the safety and integrity of the dam structure and secure long-term water supplies for the area’s irrigation and urban customers.

The repair work will be undertaken both on the dam outlet – which releases water into the Thuraggi irrigation channel – and Thuraggi Channel, immediately downstream of the outlet.

To allow this essential work to proceed from mid-April 2019 in a safe and timely manner, the water level at EJ Beardmore Dam needs to be lowered to five per cent or 4000 megalitres, and maintained at that level for a period of eight to twelve weeks, weather permitting. 

Sunwater Executive General Manager Operations Mr Colin Bendall said that Sunwater is working closely with Mallawa Irrigation and other irrigation customers to minimise and manage any short-term impacts caused by the lowering and maintenance of the dam’s water level while the essential work is underway.

“Any interruption, even a short-term one, to the security of water supply is serious for growers and we are working together with our customers to prepare for the upcoming growing season,” he said.

“To ensure that as much water as possible is used before work commences, we have asked customers to take up their entitlement as soon as practical and utilise the market to trade cap and/or water as required by the middle of April.

“If the dam level is above five per cent in mid-April or if any inflows are received during the construction period, we are required and authorised to release the water downstream.”  

The essential work must be undertaken now to reduce the risk of a potential dam failure to an acceptable level and ensure EJ Beardmore Dam continues to contribute to the long-term water security for the region.

Until the work commences, the risk of potential dam failure is monitored and managed by Sunwater.

Mr Bendall said that Sunwater takes its responsibilities to operate and maintain infrastructure on behalf of regional Queenslanders seriously.

“We understand the how critical a secure water supply is to our customers and the broader community, central to which is a safe dam structure,” he said.

“Ideally, we would have conducted the works in a way that addresses the safety imperative without the need to disrupt water supply to our customers. Unfortunately, on this occasion, we have not been able to achieve this balance.”

Residents downstream of the dam are not expected to be impacted by the work and will be notified of any planned water releases or flow-throughs if required.

The water level at Jack Taylor Weir has been lowered temporarily due to unrelated work being undertaken by Mallawa Irrigation.  

For more information customers can contact Sunwater via phone 13 15 89 or email customersupport@sunwater.com.au

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