Surge barriers in Brusselton have proven valuable after they protected the area from flooding following a cold front that brought higher than normal tides.

“The water level on the ocean side of the Vasse Surge Barrier measured a whopping 1.6 metres higher than the water level on the estuary side,” Water Corporation South West Regional Manager, John Janssen, said.

“This means if the surge barrier was not in place, ocean tide would have flowed upstream into the estuary, and could have caused potential significant flooding to the lower lying parts of Busselton.

“The main purpose of these barriers is to protect the town of Busselton from flooding as a result of big storm surges rather than heavy rain, which is why we renamed the structures from ‘floodgates’ to ‘surge barriers’ a few years ago.

“Originally known as the Vasse and Wonnerup Floodgates, they have been in place in the Vasse Wonnerup Estuary in some form for more than 100 years.”

The structures underwent a major upgrade in 2004 to improve their water holding capacity and make them easier to operate. They are now automatic one-way flow structures which allow the water to flow out to the ocean when levels are higher in the estuary.

Water Corporation operates the surge barriers in close consultation with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, as part of the Revitalising Geographe Waterways Program. 

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