Works have commenced on the first stage of the Somerset Dam Improvement Project, which will ensure that the dam meets modern engineering and design standards to provide ongoing safety and water security for years to come. 

The 2024–25 Queensland Budget included $13 million for planning work for the Somerset Dam Improvement Project. 

The enabling works will include the removal of the spillway (radial) gates, replacement of eight sluice gates and installation of a drainage curtain. 

Procurement is underway for the manufacture of modern, purpose-built and hydraulically operated sluice gates. Tender submissions have been received, with manufacturing work expected to commence in 2025 upon contract award and project approvals. 

Seqwater is planning to host drop-in information sessions in July and August 2024 to provide the community with further information about the planned works. More information about these sessions will be provided once confirmed, and community members are encouraged to sign up for the project newsletter on the Seqwater website. 

A Detailed Business Case is currently being completed for the Somerset Dam Improvement Project to carefully assess the preferred option for upgrading the dam. Seqwater will continue to keep the community updated as this important project progresses. 

Queensland Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher, said that this is an important and complex project to make sure Somerset Dam continues to withstand extreme flood events into the future and provide water security for years to come. 

“Seqwater has already delivered 13 dam upgrades, and I am pleased to see works commencing on Somerset Dam soon as part of this important program of works in in the region,” Mr Butcher said.  

“There’s going to be around 150 jobs throughout the life of the project.”  

Seqwater Interim CEO, Will Harpham, said that while dams in Queensland were built to very high, internationally accepted safety standards, Somerset Dam was built by 1959, and dam design and engineering standards have evolved significantly since then.  

“As part of the Somerset Dam Improvement Project, Seqwater is pleased to be planning a range of early and enabling works to support future construction on the major dam upgrade planned at this site,” Mr Harpham said.  

“The works are required to be completed irrespective of the final design option for the Somerset Dam Improvement Project, which is currently being considered as part of the Detailed Business Case stage. 

“Subject to project approvals, the majority of the early and enabling works are expected to commence on-site in 2025, and Seqwater will continue to keep the community informed.” 

Featured image: Somerset Dam. Image credit: Queensland Government.  

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