The Gladstone Area Water Board’s new $34 million Offline Water Storage Facility was successfully connected to the Awoonga Dam water supply and the water system that feeds the Gladstone area last week.
Gladstone Area Water Board (GAWB) Chief Executive Officer, Mr Darren Barlow, said the works were the result of months of planning and that the project was on track for testing and commissioning in October.
“Yesterday’s connection to the Gladstone area or Awoonga Dam water supply system required us to shut down our raw water network for a period of nine hours,” Mr Barlow said
“This required months of planning with our contractors, engaging and coordinating with both our major industrial customers and the Gladstone Regional Council to ensure minimal disruption.
“The 1,100 ML facility can now be filled from Lake Awoonga and maintained at a nearly full capacity ready for use, which is approximately two weeks water supply to the region.”
“Much of the mechanical equipment at Lake Awoonga is over 25 years old and will require longer periods of time offline for inspection and maintenance in the coming years,”Mr Barlow said.
“The Offline Water Storage Facility will provide Gladstone with an independent supply of water, allowing us to take Awoonga Dam out of service to conduct those works.
“It will also give us additional resiliency during storm season, when power outages and increased turbidity due to significant rainfall can affect our supply.”
Mr Barlow said the facility will operate the same way a dam does, using the surrounding hills and dam wall to hold water; the difference being that this facility is designed to hold water, not collect water from a catchment.
At its deepest point, the storage facility will be approximately 12m, with the dam wall about 90m wide.