Last week Tweed Council voted on recommendations in a report about the Bray Park Weir.
The weir has been an issue in the area because the Tweed District Water Supply is a run-of-river supply augmented by releases from Clarrie Hall Dam. Raw water is drawn from upstream of Bray Park Weir, effectively a saltwater barrage, in the Tweed River.
In August 2017, the weir was overtopped, causing the raw water to be contaminated by saltwater. As a consequence, the raw water for the Bray Park Water Treatment Plant was contaminated by salt, resulting in a water-quality incident.
The report commissioned by Tweed Shire Council (TSC) highlights that the occurrence of such incidents is predicted to increase in frequency and severity.
Tweed Shire Deputy Mayor Chris Cherry said the saltwater from high tide anomaly events entering the weir pool for the Tweed District water supply is going to be more and more of a problem as sea levels rise. ‘We have farmers who depend on the land around the weir, so it would create a lot of issues to permanently flood that land by raising the level of the weir permanently.’
Last Thursday, Council voted to put a hinged barrier across the weir, which will move into place to block anomaly events contaminating the freshwater source. This allows natural flows of the river at other times. ‘[The report] was the result of twelve months work with a consultant and a stakeholder group from the community that contained a lot of expertise, and then receiving this recommendation to Council,’ said Deputy Mayor Cherry.
‘Thankfully a majority of Councillors then supported the recommendation. Now we can move forward on the concept design to best protect our water supply in the face of climate change impacts.’