Burrendong Dam cold water pollution curtain installation almost complete

The installation of the Burrendong Dam cold water pollution curtain should be completed in mid-August, allowing the trial to control downstream water temperatures to resume.

The Burrendong Dam cold water pollution curtain was constructed and commissioned in 2014 as a trial aimed at mitigating the pollution that occurs when cold water from the bottom of the dam storage is released downstream into the Macquarie River.

Water NSW has undertaken extensive work to engineer a revised design for the curtain, which has been progressively installed on Burrendong Dam’s intake tower over recent months.

The reinstallation is the culmination of extensive repairs and follows the replacement of manufactured components deep below the water surface.

Burrendong’s storage is less than 35 per cent of capacity so thermal stratification – that is, warmer water concentrating on the surface with progressively colder water at depth – is currently not occurring.

The full trial of both the new design and the structure’s impact on downstream riverine habitat will recommence when thermal stratification occurs.

Following the curtain’s malfunction in November 2016, Water NSW engineers conducted an exhaustive review of the incident and worked to redesign the curtain.

Water NSW Executive Manager Asset Solutions and Delivery Andrew George said new guide wire connections and rollers have been manufactured to improve the device’s reliability.

“The redesign process demonstrates the capability both of our engineering expertise and the local businesses engaged to manufacture the new connections and rollers”, he said.

“WaterNSW will shortly resume monitoring and testing of the curtain and assess its potential as a long-term option for managing cold water releases once it has been commissioned and the dam storage level rises.”

Instrumentation has been installed to monitor the performance of the new design. For information visit www.waternsw.com.au