A project to combat cold water pollution

Written by Dene Macleod


From the Mudgee Guardian, Friday, 28 June 2013: An Australian company will design, manufacture and install the world's first cold water pollution mitigation curtain at Burrendong Dam later this year.

On Wednesday the NSW Government announced it had awarded the project's contract to Geotech Pty Ltd.

NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, said the structure will enable warmer water from the surface of the dam to be released downstream, rather than cold water from the depths of the storage.

"Cold water pollution can have a negative impact on native fish populations," she said.

"The $3.4-$4 million project involves installing a temperature control structure around the intake tower that sits below the surface allowing warmer surface water to flow into the curtain enclosure, enter the intake tower and be released downstream through the outlet valves into the Macquarie River system."

"As part of the contract Geotech will refine the concept designed by AMOG Consulting and State Water."

The concept design was completed in June 2011 and the refinements by Geotech will be approved as they progress.

"The structure will need to be able to be raised and lowered with the storage level to ensure the system continues to work regardless of the water level of the dam," Ms Hodgkinson said.

NSW Member for Orange, Andrew Gee, said this was great news given the water temperature can vary up to 12 degrees between the surface and bottom of the dam.

"This project is not only a boost to the region, it is also one of the goals of the NSW 2021 Plan," Mr Gee said.

Tenders were called in February 2013 from a selected panel and Geotech Pty Ltd was chosen from the three tenderers.

The project is jointly funded by the NSW Government and State Water and is the result of investigations and modeling by State Water staff over several years.

Installation will commence in late 2013 and is due to be completed in early 2014.

Similar projects are set to be rolled out at other dams in NSW following the results of this project.