Dam problem sorted after council ordered its removal

Council general manager David Keenan.
Council general manager David Keenan. John Gass

TWEED Shire Council's efforts to deliver clean drinking water to its residents has been hampered by an illegally constructed weir in the Tweed River near Byangum.

The illicit weir constricted the river's flow by about 90% of its usual capacity and had significant impacts on fish passage as well as creating severe riverbank erosion.

Once the council decided the weir needed to be removed, NSW Land and Property Information granted immediate approval to have the illegal structure disassembled and the river's natural flow reinstated.

Council's general manager David Keenan said the illegal weir was impacting on the town water supply for Tweed's 75,000 residents who are connected to town water at a time when it was most under strain from demand and reduced natural flow.

"The weir was constructed without any approval or consultation with the relevant organisations," Mr Keenan said.

"Our main concern is to quickly restore flows in the river so we can effectively operate the town water supply.

"This is at a time when conditions are hot and dry, our population is increased by tourism and consumption reaches one of its highest levels for the year."

Tweed council was currently releasing water from Clarrie Hall Dam to flush out a blue-green algae bloom affecting the Tweed River.

However, the unlawful weir was impacting on the effectiveness of the releases, prompting council to act quickly to restore flows in the river.

Some 12m of the illegal structure was removed last Friday and state agencies including the Department of Primary Industries would pursue further steps to address the obstructed flows.

Topics:  tweed river

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