Callide Dam safety and emergency management

Callide Dam Gates Project

Callide Dam, Biloela, Queensland

This maintenance project has been set up to investigate, repair and restore Callide Dam’s gates to address intermittent occurrences of vibration during their operation. This project will ensure ongoing dam safety and long-term water security.

Safety and emergency management

During the week of 21 June 2021 Sunwater issued a Section 399B notice to the Dam Safety Regulator. This notice means that Callide Dam is now operating at a reduced fully supply level (FSL) to enable the safe and dry removal of the gates as part of the Callide Dam Gates Project.

From the lodgement date of the 399B notice, the top of Callide Dam’s concrete spillway crest will reflect the maximum height of the dam wall. Prior to issuing the notice, the top of the concrete spillway crest represented 41 per cent of the dam’s capacity, however, to prepare for the removal of the gates and when the gates are removed, Sunwater will refer to the top of the concrete spillway as the dam’s FSL of 100 per cent.  

This temporary FSL change is necessary for communicating accurately and consistently to the community and emergency bodies because in the instance of extreme weather events, the water level reaching 100 per cent must signal a forthcoming spill.

Additionally, there will be a period between the 399B notice being issued and the gates being removed. During this time, should a rainfall event see the dam’s capacity reach the fixed crest, the gates will be operated, and slow releases made.

While the dam’s new FSL is the top of the concrete spillway crest, for the project works to take place the water level must remain below the temporary FSL at the project operational level of 38,160ML (69 per cent). Should unexpected dry season inflows occur, slow releases will be made to continue operating the dam at the project’s operational level.

The infographic at the bottom of this page further explains this change.

In accordance with regulatory guidelines, Sunwater is updating the Callide Dam Emergency Action Plan and the Operations and Maintenance Manual to reflect the changed conditions during the project.

Based on historical inflows during the dry season, we expect the temporary full supply level will have little to no impact on the dam’s actual capacity.

The Sunwater app provides the latest dam information and alerts at your fingertips. Download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to stay informed about Sunwater dam operations especially during heavy rain and flood events.


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