Dam repairs secure Swansea's water supply

Swansea Dam.jpg

Repairs to the Swansea Dam have been completed, with TasWater successfully harvesting more than 60 megalitres of water from the Meredith River into the dam.

This is the first time water from the Meredith River has been transferred to the dam since the dam was completed late in 2009.
“This is great news for the Swansea community,” TasWater dam safety senior engineer Alan White said. “When we took over ownership of the dam, we made the decision to keep the water level low to reduce pressure and seepage amounts to maintain safety.
“I’m now pleased to say that after careful investigations, planning and work the dam has been repaired, giving us more flexibility to maintain a secure water supply for the Swansea community.”

TasWater drained the dam early last year to undertake the repair works. Once the dam was dry, suitable clay from TasWater land and a nearby property was brought in and compacted in thin layers across the floor and sides of the dam basin. It was protected against cracking with another layer of material. The clay lining is 600mm thick and is intended to prevent major seepage, meaning the dam can be refilled safely.

Good rainfall in August has helped counter a drier than average winter and we have an agreement in place with Tasmanian Irrigation and the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment (DPIPWE) to help us refill the dam and provide water to our customers over summer,” Mr White said. “The dam now has 220 megalitres stored, which is the amount typically used by Swansea in a year.

“We will continue to draw water from the Swan River in a sustainable way, taking less than 1 per cent of the river’s annual flows, but being able to harvest water seasonally from the Meredith River and into Swansea Dam gives us more flexibility to switch between raw water sources as environmental conditions change.” Some works to tidy the dam area are still to be completed but do not affect use of the dam.
“This has been a long project for the Swansea community and we thank residents for their patience and cooperation while we worked to find the best solution for everyone,” Mr White said.
“Being able to safely use the dam to provide a secure water supply is the only outcome we were working towards, so to have now reached that goal for the community is incredibly pleasing.”