Council successfully tests dam gates

Date published: 31 August 2023

Townsville City Council has tested the operation of the Ross River Dam spillway gates as part of its dam safety program.

Water and Resource Recovery Committee chairperson Russ Cook said Council carried out the testing each year.

“The tests are an essential part of Council’s dam management plan, and it is an opportunity for our team members to check the function of the gates” Cr Cook said.

“Each of the gates were opened individually to a height of 250mm above the spillway crest for 10 minutes.

“All three gates were then opened simultaneously at the same height for 10 minutes.

“We also tested both the diesel and electric pump station systems from multiple control points around the dam to check the backup systems were functional.

“Everything was working as expected and it is a real testament to Council’s team members who keep this complicated and specialised infrastructure so well maintained.

“Approximately 100 megalitres of water flowed through the gates into Ross River during the testing, which is less than a day of the city’s water use.

“There wasn’t any noticeable drop in the dam’s water level.”

Townsville Local Disaster Management Group Deputy Kurt Rehbein said the testing also forms part of Council’s preparations for the upcoming high-risk weather season.

“It’s an unpredictable time of year for our region and operational testing like this helps make sure we continue to be well prepared,” Cr Rehbein said.

“Over the coming weeks and months, we will be providing community events like the Get Ready Workshops and the Get Ready Townsville day.

“The annual testing of the dam gates is a good reminder to the community to start thinking about getting themselves and their homes prepared.”

Learn more about the Ross River Dam and prepare for the upcoming high-risk weather season.