Construction work is now underway on strengthening the embankment wall of the Ewen Maddock Dam, after the lake was lowered to less than 60 per cent.
Together with Sunshine Coast-based local contractor Hall Contracting, Seqwater installed six siphons to safely release water.
By using gravity and siphons in place of more traditional systems like diesel-fuelled pumps, carbon emissions have been reduced by about 235 tonnes.
This approach, which was decided during the planning stages, also helped to reduce the length of the project and enable much of the embankment strengthening work to be completed within the dry season.
Seqwater has increased the size of the horse float car parking area by 25 per cent at Maddock Park.
The upgrade now means visitors towing a horse float can safely do a U-turn without entering the construction area.
The additional space has also increased the number of car parks for multi-use trail users and includes new car parking, recreation and project information signage, delineation markers and fencing.
The Seqwater team has been closely watching for environmental impacts throughout the lake lowering using historical survey data and also an UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle, usually a drone).
Riparian vegetation is still in very good health, and water quality is being monitored for any impact on the health of foraging bird and aquatic species. Flora and fauna monitoring will continue during the construction lowering phase of this project.
The 18-month project is part of Seqwater’s Dam Improvement Program which will bring the dam in line with modern engineering design standards.
The embankment work will also improve the existing beach and swimming area. Once work is complete, the lake will refill naturally to its normal capacity dependent on adequate rainfall across the catchment.
Work started in April 2020 and is expected to be complete in the second half of 2021, weather permitting.