17 April 2023

Detailed reports submitted for dam safety reviews

Hunter Water has submitted a draft risk report for Chichester Dam and an interim risk report for Grahamstown Dam to Dams Safety NSW, as part of a 15-yearly routine assessment program.

The reports are part of our commitment as a responsible dam owner to ensure we meet modern engineering and safety standards and regulatory obligations.

The risk reports help inform detailed 15-yearly safety reviews that are currently underway for both dams. These reviews are part of a comprehensive assessment program which includes daily visual inspections and monthly satellite inspections, as well as yearly and five yearly reviews.

Hunter Water’s Executive Manager Customer Delivery, Clint Thomson, said new technology and techniques are providing our engineers and an independent expert review panel with new insights into the dams.

“Dams like Chichester and Grahamstown are designed to remain in service for potentially hundreds of years. Over time, the industry’s understanding of the dams under extreme conditions such as rare flooding events and major earthquakes improves,” said Mr Thomson.

“After every major review we have invested in upgrading our dams. In 1984 we installed anchors inside the Chichester Dam wall, which is almost 100 years old, with subsequent works in 1995 and 2003. At Grahamstown Dam six major upgrades have occurred since its construction almost 60 years ago.

“The latest reviews and any recommendations that follow will ensure the dams continue to operate safely and serve the community for many decades to come."
Clint Thomson, Executive Manager Customer Delivery

“We’re now working to finalise the detailed safety review for Chichester Dam in the coming weeks and the Grahamstown Dam review later this year.

“We’re committed to keeping our community informed every step of the way and they can expect to hear from us soon with the results and our approach to moving forward,” said Mr Thomson.

The assessments have been led by Hunter Water, with advice from an independent Expert Review Panel. We are also working with our regulator Dams Safety NSW to ensure we are meeting our regulatory obligations.