Cold water pollution trial on hold, curtain damaged

Cold water pollution trial on hold, curtain damaged

21 October 2020

The cold water pollution trial at Burrendong Dam will remain suspended while WaterNSW assesses damage to the curtain installed as a potential solution.

The cold water pollution curtain is a prototype installed in 2014 as part of a trial to address the issue of low temperature water from deep within the dam storage being released downstream into the Macquarie River.

WaterNSW is in contact with environmental agencies to understand the potential impacts of the curtain being removed along with steps available to mitigate any environmental impacts.

Authorities including WaterNSW are not aware of any reports of fishkill events in the Macquarie River, and there have been no significant fluctuations in river temperature in the affected river stretch between the dam and Dubbo.

The trial was initially discontinued when the device was damaged during major inflows that filled the dam storage in late 2016.

The trial remained on hold as Burrendong’s storage level fell to a low of 1.5% of capacity in February this year as drought conditions restricted inflows to record lows.

With the dam storage having risen to approximately 45% of capacity, WaterNSW personnel discovered the damage during an inspection of the curtain this week.

WaterNSW will remove the device for a full inspection and engineering assessment, before making a decision on the future of the trial.

Media contact: Tony Webber 0428 613 478.

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