GEORGE NEWS - Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the spillway.
What if the dam is full? Is the project still required?
The raising of the Garden Dam spillway is the next phase of the George Municipality’s raw water infrastructure capacity upgrades.
It is required to ensure that the city’s continued growth is catered for.
The George Municipality remains committed to continuing its service excellence in delivering these essential services timeously, as per its raw water master plan, which sets out the roll-out of required infrastructure development into the next 25 years.
This project is part of the future growth plans for the city and works in conjunction with other recently implemented schemes, namely the Kaaimans and Malgas Pumping Schemes and the Effluent Re-use project.
The 25% increase in volume of the raised dam will allow for additional water to be stored during surplus periods, but also allows the water “saved” at the dam, by the use of the Malgas and Kaaimans Pumping Schemes to be stored in the dam, until required.
The Malgas Scheme, as and when surplus water is available in the river, pumps directly to the city’s water treatment works and allows the dam’s pumps to operate less in the short term, until future growth requires them to pump the additional to cater for the increased water demand.
The project works in conjunction with all of these schemes and will contribute an additional 11% to the city’s water demand when completed.
Can the project still proceed with heightened dam levels?
It should be remembered that planning for all scenarios was undertaken and the tender document makes provision for the changing water levels within the dam, as can be expected at a dam.
The use of coffer dams to allow construction of the concrete works at the spillway was included in the tender.
The raising of the wall requirement for material will be sourced from the embankments around the dam, by using the material between the existing full supply level and the new full supply level, which will be inundated when the dam is full and will actually increase the storage volume of the dam.
The Garden Route dam spillway site.
Obviously it would be better to do this over a bigger area, but the eventuality of a full dam was incorporated into the planning parameters and sufficient material can be sourced from the dam surrounds to cater for the raised dam wall as now contemplated.
Should the dam level be low enough during construction, the material will be sourced as deep as possible inside the existing dam basin.
Why is it taking so long?
The municipal supply chain process of all contracts is covered by legislation, which govern how a tender is put out and evaluated.
This tender has followed the legislated route to ensure compliance with the regulations and stipulations set by Council.
The tender for the works has recently closed and is in the evaluation phase.
The costs and construction period of the tenders received differ from expectations and a qualification process is currently underway to identify the best way to proceed with the tender.
George Municipality is one of the few Municipalities that has invested in a mix of various raw water supply options, namely surface water (dam, river abstraction), groundwater (boreholes) and effluent re-use (ultra-filtration); to ensure that water demand requirements can be maintained and managed during water stressed periods.
Read previous articles:
- Update on Garden Route Dam capacity increase
- Have your say: Dam's spillway amendment
- Garden Route Dam spillway to be raised
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