Residents Downstream of Bundaberg’s Paradise Dam have been warned to Anticipate Minor Flooding this week to allow Dam Repairs
Residents Downstream of Bundaberg’s Paradise Dam have been warned to Anticipate Minor Flooding this week to allow Dam Repairs as water is deliberately released. SunWater will stop the spillway flow and lower the dam level to assess the spillway dissipator – a concrete slab at the foot of the spillway which takes the brunt of overflowing water.
An extra 23,000 megalitres per day will be released into the Burnett River, which flows through the heart of Bundaberg, of which was hit with major flooding at the beginning of the year.
Bundaberg Mayor, Mal Forman said the releases were not expected to cause any serious flooding, but may cause minor flooding to roads in some hinterland or river communities.
“The amount of water being released is controllable. There are areas where roads get flooded or are already in a minor flood, possibly around low areas,” Cr Forman said.
A spokesman for SunWater said releases could last for up to five days until the dam level fell to 1m below the spillway crest. SunWater Chief Executive Officer, Peter Boettcher, said that the Australia Day weekend floods in the Burnett River caused damage to the Paradise Dam spillway dissipator which is the concrete slab downstream of the dam.
“Following the record floods in January and subsequent rainfall over recent weeks we identified that damage had occurred to the Paradise Dam spillway dissipator and as a precautionary action we extended surveillance of the spillway dissipator,” Mr Boettcher said.
“As the river flows have subsided SunWater staff have been able to undertake closer inspection of the dam and have identified that the damage is scouring of the dissipators,”.
“The safety of our staff, our customers and the community is SunWater’s first priority,” Mr Boettcher said.
“Our first action will be to stop the dam from overflowing to enable safe access for the repairs to be carried out.”
This will be done by making a release from the dams environmental flow gate of up to 23,000ML per day planned to commence sometime over this week and is expected to continue for 4 to 5 days until the water level in the dam is reduce to 1 metre below the spillway crest,”.
Repair works to the dissipator slab will involve the construction of a temporary access road across the river bed and the placement of rock anchors and concrete at the base of the dam to repair the damage. Repair works are expected to be completed over a 2 to 3 week period commencing from mid to late next week.
SunWater is currently liaising with downstream residents and other relevant stakeholders such as council, police, emergency services, the local disaster management group and the dam safety regulator about the release and are updating them regularly regarding SunWater’s dam operating activities.