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New Upgrade Keeps The Water Flowing


O’Donnell Griffin NSW  has been awarded a contract from the Sydney catchment authority (SCA) for the complete upgrade of the Warragamba dam electrical infrastructure. The dam was opened in 1960 and stores 80% of sydney’s water supply. building started back in 1948, and it is the largest concrete dam in Australia, and when full, its lake is four times the size of Sydney harbour.

ODG has the credentials for this task, having delivered similar projects including the Deep Water Recovery electrical installation for SCA previously. ODG Business Unit Manager, Mal Reid, said the project would completely replace the current electrical infrastructure within the dam walls, most of which hasn’t been upgraded since it was installed in the early 1950s.

The upgrade is taking place over a wide area, and while this is happening, the facility has to be maintained operationally. Being Sydney’s main water supply continued operation is of paramount importance.

Mal said the contract had to take into account substantial environmental factors and ODG has retained the services of environmental consultants ERM, to assist. There is also Heritage listings on some of the older equipment and ODG have engaged a consultant to film and record the changes made to the infrastructure. One of the older Switch Boards is to be pulled apart cleaned and given back to the SCA for their heritage presentation.

The contract will be carried out in four separate stages, and incorporates design, HV/LV infrastructure and communication construction, and the PLC/SCADA maintenance.

The job involves replacing an OH HV system with an underground Ringmain system. Replacing lighting and power systems within the dam’s extensive service galleries, including accommodation for potential flooding within the lower galleries. Replacement of the dam’s ventilation system, and installation of a new fire detection system. New instrumentation, and new SCADA and PLC systems, plus new security and communications systems.

Mal said the timeframe for completion of the job was 90 weeks.

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