11 April 2023

Erosion solution approved for Seaham weir pool

Following a meeting on Tuesday of the Seaham Weir Pool Interagency Working Group, the Seaham Weir Pool Erosion Management Plan has been released paving the way for the implementation of the Plan’s actions.

This milestone means Hunter Water, as the manager of the Lower Hunter’s drinking water supply, will move forward with fixing erosion issues and improving water quality in the weir pool, one of the region’s key water sources.

To implement the Plan, Hunter Water will lead the project including repairs to riverbank erosion through stabilisation measures, alongside riverbank revegetation and livestock fencing. Detailed site planning with individual property owners has started along the weir pool, the 20-kilometre stretch of the Williams River between Seaham and just upstream of Clarence Town.

Consistent with community views and expert advice, the delivery of erosion repairs and protection will enable recreational boating activity to continue within the existing designated zones on the weir pool, with agreement from key agencies to strengthen boating education and compliance.

Hunter Water Managing Director, Darren Cleary, said the Plan provides a solution to ongoing water quality concerns in the weir pool.

“The gradual, long-term decline in water quality in this section of the Williams River continues to be a concern to us. The Williams is a critical part of our region’s drinking water supply, being the primary water source for Grahamstown Dam.

“This Plan improves water quality and delivers positive environmental outcomes, while also supporting social and economic benefits of the Williams River, such as boating activities, that the community values,” said Mr Cleary.

“The final Erosion Management Plan is a result of expert studies, government agency expertise, and feedback from the local community, landholders, boaters and other waterway users.

“We can now start implementing the Plan’s actions and we’ve already been having preliminary discussions with landholders to understand and assess their properties for proposed remediation work.

“We are grateful to the community for providing feedback at two drop-in information sessions in November 2022 and through the online survey on our website. The strong community support for action to prevent erosion and improve water quality has been incorporated into the final Plan.

“We also acknowledge the planning and leadership of the Seaham Weir Pool Interagency Working Group, which includes representatives from Dungog Shire and Port Stephens Councils, Transport for NSW, and Hunter Local Land Services,” said Mr Cleary.

The Plan was prepared in collaboration with these local and state government agencies, in consultation with NSW Soil Conservation Service and independent experts at the University of NSW’s Water Research Laboratory.

Hunter Water and the NSW Government are jointly funding delivery of the Erosion Management Plan.

The adopted Erosion Management Plan is available along with a copy of the Community and Stakeholder Engagement Outcomes Report at www.hunterwater.com.au/erosionplan