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Byron Shire
October 22, 2021

Council votes to build saltwater barrier at weir

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The Bray Park weir. Photo Tweed Shire Council

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.’

 

 


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3 COMMENTS

  1. The occurrence of the river running backwards is thought to increase over time. The river normally runs from the source to the ocean and has done so for millions of years but now the river sometimes runs the opposite way, from the ocean to the source on a high tide
    The word that council uses is ‘anomaly”. We now have anomaly events. The word anomaly means a deviation from standard or normal. I have news for council. There are no anomaly events. Climate Change is now normal. For the tides to rise above what the tides once were is now normal. We are in Climate Change and Climate Change is normal and normal mean permanent. This is exactly why people will not believe in Climate Change. We are now standing in it when organisations say the process and paperwork is still on its way.

  2. Tweed Shire Council have been talking about all of this since I can remember. They are great at the talk fest but hopeless at getting the most necessary things done for all Tweed Shire residents and visitors.
    Making sure our water supply is safe, secure and able to be usable past 2030 is an extremely important issue.

  3. Good idea for a hinged barrier across the weir, which will move into place to block anomaly events contaminating the freshwater source. Please, Tweed Council make doubly sure that when high tides are forecast, you have more than one person on-call and available to take responsibility for ensuring that the barrier is activated.

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