Hunter Water has begun construction on a 1.2 kilometre wall on the southern end of Grahamstown Dam, located in NSW, to prevent waves whipped up in high winds damaging the banks and causing erosion.
The wall, to be built at a cost of $1million, coincides with the 50th anniversary of the dam’s completion and has been designed so that the popular scenic views of the Dam are not obstructed.
The barrier will be just the fifth major project undertaken on Grahamstown Dam during its 50 years as the Hunter’s main source of water supply.
Built in July 1964 and currently able to hold 182,305 million litres of water, Grahamstown Dam is the region’s largest water source and can supply up to 75% of the Hunter’s daily water needs when required.
Unlike most dams which are built directly on a river, Grahamstown Dam is a 28km² man-made lake supplied by an artificial canal which draws water from the Williams River near Seaham.
Hunter Water’s Chief Operating Officer, Darren Cleary, said although Grahamstown Dam remains as much an engineering marvel today as it was 50 years ago, its wide surface area and relatively shallow depth can make waves an issue in strong wind.
“Grahamstown Dam is essentially a big, wide, shallow lake which allows wind during storms to whip up waves.”
“Hunter Water is taking preventative action to install a specially designed $1million wave protection wall on the Dam’s banks at the point where Grahamstown and Richardson roads meet at Campvale,” he said.
Mr Cleary said Hunter Water understood the importance to the community of maintaining the view of the Dam, and consequently the wall had been designed to maintain the amenity of the area while protecting the banks from erosion.
“As Port Stephens residents well know, Grahamstown Dam at sunrise and sunset makes for a stunning view for anyone making the trip between Medowie and Raymond Terrace.”
Construction of the wave protection wall is due to commence early next year.