One of the Sunshine Coast’s key drinking water dams will undergo a $20 million upgrade.
Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham said construction work for the upgrade of Ewen Maddock Dam would begin in August this year.
“The upgrade will ensure it is able to continue to operate safely, well into the future,’’ Dr Lynham said.
“It is expected to take up to 18 months to complete and will include raising and extending the existing embankment walls and strengthening the existing spillway to improve safety for the downstream community.
Even though the dam wall will be raised, the full supply capacity of the dam will not change. The upgrade works will not impact on water supply security which will be maintained by the SEQ water grid.
Speaking the week before Governing from the Regions at the Sunshine Coast, DR Lynham said dams were long-life assets that required continual assessment, monitoring and maintenance.
“There have also been significant advances in dam design over the years and our knowledge and understanding of the size and impact of extreme weather events and other natural hazards also has changed.
“This upgrade will bring the dam in line with modern engineering design standards.
“Improving the flood capacity of the dam will also ensure an even higher level of safety for downstream communities.’’
Ewen Maddock Dam, built in 1976, is one of a number of dams across South East Queensland earmarked to be upgraded as part of Seqwater’s Dam Improvement Program.
Seqwater CEO Neil Brennan said the lake’s water level would need to be lowered to about 50 per cent of its full supply level to allow the upgrade works to be safely undertaken.
All on-water recreation, including the designated swimming and beach area, will be closed for the duration of the upgrade works. The closure will also extend to Maddock Park which will be required as a set down area for the project.
Access to walking and mountain bike trials will still be available at the Ornamental Wetlands area, located off Steve Irwin Way on the opposite site of the lake.
Mr Brennan said as part of the upgrade project Seqwater will improve the existing beach and swimming area.
“We understand that Ewen Maddock Dam is a very popular recreation destination and apologise for any inconvenience this closure may cause to the public,” he said.
“Our aim will be to re-open recreation as soon as practical once the upgrade works are complete.’’