Connors Creek Dam upgraded instead of decommissioned

MAKEOVER: Connors Creek Dam will be upgraded to meet safety standards.
MAKEOVER: Connors Creek Dam will be upgraded to meet safety standards.

TAMWORTH Regional Council has decided not to decommission Connors Creek Dam and will instead fix it up to meet the state government’s safety standards.

Tamworth councillors considered three options at a meeting this week; decommissioning the dam, redesigning the dam or spending $225,000 on minor capital works.

The minor capital works will also come with an additional $130,000 price tag, due to a series of independent reviews and audits council will have to carry out over the next decade.

Council investigated decommissioning the dam, which had the potential to be the cheapest long-term option.

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However, it discovered the tonnes of silt that had built up over more than 80 years was highly contaminated with copper used to treat algae blooms, which would have cost council millions of dollars to properly dispose of.

Councillor Glenn Inglis said despite the upfront and ongoing costs, the minor capital works were the best way forward.

“It’s one of those things where you like to think that you don’t do things that create work for you in to the future,” Cr Inglis.

“That’s probably the only downside of option three, and that is we are putting ourselves in a position of continued monitoring.

“While it won’t have the traffic and extent of the matters we have in our other dams, we are creating a little bit of work for ourselves.

“At the end of the day, I certainly kept coming back to option three regardless of that. It does seem to be the most sensible thing.”