NSW – Suma Park Dam Upgrade

Author: Paul Southcott, Entura.

Orange City Council plans are well advanced for the upgrade of Suma Park Dam. Suma Park Dam is a 30.5m high concrete arch dam located on Summer Hill Creek near Orange in central NSW with a High A consequence category for both sunny day and flood.  The dam was constructed in 1962 and concerns had been raised about the adequacy of the spillway capacity for some time.  Additionally, the significant growth in the population of Orange has put pressure on the existing water supply system and raising the full supply level was an attractive option for the Council.  The upgrade includes both an increase in storage capacity and a flood capacity upgrade and the concept design stage has been completed with in principle acceptance of the proposal with the NSW Dam Safety Committee.

Key components of the upgrade include:

  • Raising the abutment sections of the main arch dam with pre-cast panels by 3.06m
  • Conversion of the existing saddle dam into an auxiliary spillway with fuse plugs
  • Raising the spillway crest on the arch dam by 1m.

Additionally, the Council is taking the opportunity to refurbish and modernize the multi-level outlet tower to improve safety and ease of operations.

Entura is the lead consultant for the project with support from local sub-consultants Geolyse and Macquarie Geotech and Worley Parsons for CFD modelling.  Services provided include flood hydrology, geotechnical investigations, dambreak modelling, dam design, electrical and mechanical design, environmental studies and approvals including a detailed environmental flows assessment of Summer Hill Creek.

Detailed design of the upgrade will be completed by December this year with tenders let for construction early in 2014.

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