Seqwater has announced that it will soon begin upgrades on Leslie Harrison Dam at Capalaba as part of the company’s Dam Improvement Program across South East Queensland.

Acting Chief Executive Officer Peter Dennis said the program was about ensuring the region’s dams continued to meet the latest standards.

Mr Dennis said like all dam owners across Australia, Seqwater was required to meet the guidelines issued by the Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD).

“Dams are long life assets and from time to time they require upgrades as standards are updated and our understanding and knowledge of the impact of extreme weather events increases. The Dam Improvement Program is about ensuring our dams continue to meet industry best practice in the long term,” Mr Dennis said.

“Leslie Harrison Dam was built in 1967 and this will be the first major upgrade since its storage capacity was increased in 1984.

“This is very much business as usual. In recent years we’ve completed upgrades to Lake Manchester, Borumba, Hinze, North Pine and Ewen Maddock.”

As a first step, Seqwater will lower the water level in Leslie Harrison Dam to 42% of its capacity and remove the dam gates. This will allow further assessment, with the findings informing the timing of the upgrade and the works required.

Seqwater will make carefully controlled releases from the dam for up to eight weeks to slowly lower the water level, minimising water quality and environmental impacts.

After the gates are removed, when the dam reaches its temporary full supply level of 42%, water will flow over the spillway and safely out of the dam.

Mr Dennis said the new water level will not affect water security.

“The region’s water security is currently high and our interconnected bulk water supply network allows us to move water across the region to where it is needed most.”

Seqwater expects to lower the dam level before the end of June, with upgrade works scheduled to occur within five years.

“We’ve met with lake neighbours and we will hold an information display at the Capalaba Library on Noeleen Street on 17 April to outline the program. Information about the program is also available on the Seqwater website,’’ Mr Dennis said.

Mr Dennis said the region’s dams were essential public assets, providing drinking water and flood mitigation to communities and irrigation water to farmers.

“Leslie Harrison is just one of a number of planned dam upgrades. An upgrade of Maroon Dam is underway, with works scheduled to start at Moogerah Dam in June.

“Dam upgrades are prioritised to ensure a staged and well planned program of works, which ensures security of water supply at the best value for money,’’ he said.

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