A $5 million upgrade of Conglomerate Dam has been completed as TasWater continues to address legacy issues at the hundreds of dams it operates across the state.
Conglomerate Dam holds Queenstown’s drinking water and has been progressively upgraded since 2013 to ensure it meets modern safety standards.
A 12 month project completed this month raised the dam wall by 16 metres, extended the berm structure to 32 metres, upgraded the spillway and improved the safety monitoring system.
TasWater chief executive Mike Brewster hoped the upgrades would ensure Conglomerate Dam could safely service Queenstown for the next 100 years.
“TasWater has over 300 dams in its portfolio and quite a number of those dams are unsafe and need serious upgrades to ensure public health and safety,” he said.
“This is one of the major upgrades here at Conglomerate but we have many more to go and we’ll be spending approximately $40 million in the next few years alone just on dam safety upgrades.”
CONGLOMERATE DAM UPGRADE, BEFORE AND AFTER
Conglomerate Dam was one of many problematic dams TasWater inherited when it was established five years ago.
Tasmanian company Hazell Bros was contracted for the Conglomerate Dam upgrades and construction manager Jesse Brunskill said 32 of the 50 people employed for the project were from the West Coast.
“We’re very proud of this project and we’re keen to keep building the relationship and the expertise using locals to deliver the pipeline of work ahead,” Mr Brunskill said.
TasWater has several ongoing projects on the West Coast including a $350,000 upgrade of the lagoon system at Strahan, upgrades to Zeehan’s drinking water and sewerage treatment and upgrades of mains at Queenstown.
West Coast deputy mayor Shane Pitt thanked TasWater for its commitment to the region and for completing the Conglomerate Dam upgrade.
“This project alone is over double the council’s yearly capital works budget and half our operating budget,” he said.
“So there would’ve been no option for the council to take on such a serious infrastructure project before TasWater existed.”