THE heavens helped write history as Chaffey Dam hit a monumental 100 per cent capacity at the weekend.
The record-breaking spectacle, which caused the dam’s unique morning-glory spillway to gush with water early Sunday morning, came off the back of a solid two-day downpour.
It marked the first time the dam has hit capacity since its $46 million augmentation, which bolstered its size from 62,000 to 100,500 megalitres – or 40,000 Olympic swimming pools.
“It’s very exciting,” Tamworth mayor Col Murray said. “It’s certainly great news for the city.”
The historic occasion is in stark contrast to just several months ago, when Tamworth Regional Council introduced level-four water restrictions in a desperate bid to ration the city’s main water supply during a prolonged dry period.
“It was looking pretty serious,” Cr Murray said.
“The city probably had a few years left in it, but we never, never want to be in that situation again.
“It’s amazing how seasonal changes can affect it.”
Excess water flowing through the morning-glory spillway will now feed into the Peel River.
“It’s great news for irrigators,” Cr Murray said.
“It takes off the agenda any threat of (lack of) availability of water.”
The record comes less than six months after the dam’s upgrade, which aimed to secure long-term water supply for Tamworth and improve security of water entitlements for downstream users.
“We’re not going to be thinking about water restrictions for a few years,” Cr Murray said. “We hope and pray that the rainfall events and weather patterns are better than what we’ve had.”