Somerset Dam Improvement Project

Somerset Dam is one of several dams identified for an upgrade as part of Seqwater’s Dam Improvement Program. It is located on the Stanley River and was built between 1937 and 1959 to the engineering standards at that time. The dam now requires upgrading to comply with the provisions of the Australian National Committee for Large Dams (ANCOLD) and Queensland guidelines on acceptable flood capacity. This is in response to an improved understanding of dam safety risks, including updated climate modelling for extreme weather events.

Building Queensland is leading the development of the Somerset Dam Improvement Project Detailed Business Case in partnership with Seqwater. The business case is investigating an upgrade of the Somerset Dam to ensure the dam continues to meet best practice standards, including resilience to severe weather events.

The business case will incorporate the preliminary business case findings with the detailed geotechnical investigations into the dam’s foundations and characterisation. Large-scale physical hydraulic modelling will also be examined to assess the hydraulic performance of the upgrade options in a variety of conditions, including extreme weather events.

The scope of works includes:

  • raising the dam walls to withstand higher floods
  • strengthening and increasing the size of the spillway dissipator basin
  • strengthening the dam walls with additional concrete
  • altering to the spillway.

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