Specialist Civil

Burrendong Dam, New South Wales

Burrendong Dam, New South Wales

  • Specialist Civil

Geotech was engaged by StateWater to design and construct a water temperature release control structure at Burrendong Dam in New South Wales. In order to mitigate the effects of cold water pollution releases from the dam to the Macquarie river, Geotech retrofitted the existing outlet tower with a fully automated curtain system that releases upper level warmer water in preference to low-level cold water. The automated temperature control structure relocates the curtain based on the water level and temperature, in order to allow the warmer surface water to flow over the top of the curtain and down to the outlet pipe. This process allows the warmer water from the surface of the lake to be released downstream, rather than the cold water from the lakebed. The Geotech team’s innovative system has enabled significant environmental improvements along the Macquarie River since its commissioning.

Key Achievements

The Temperature Control Structure and its unique fully automated curtain system are dependent on water level and temperature, making it a world-first design. It is also the first to operate with water releases over the top of a fabric curtain rather than from the base of the curtain. This project was awarded the Engineers Australia Sydney Engineering Excellence Award 2014 – Engineering for Regional Communities. It was also a finalist in the Environment and Heritage category.

Disciplines covered

  • Design, fabrication, installation and commissioning of the total system.
  • Design and construction of underwater (25m) permanent ground anchors and guide cables.
  • Testing, Fabrication and Installation of the Temperature Control Curtain.
  • Design and commissioning of PLC systems, HMI controls and water monitoring systems.
  • Provision for remote operation of the system through the clients existing SCADA control network.
  • Installation of new water monitoring systems capable of being incorporated into the client’s existing systems.

Safety in Design Innovation

Geotech incorporated installation of a fusible link component within the structure. The fusible link is the weakest point in the guide cable system, and will be the first component to fail in the unlikely event of the tower being subjected to extreme load conditions. Any failing of the fusible link, and therefore failing to a known condition, provides a system of protection to the existing outlet tower.

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