World first cold water pollution technology put to the test

A study of the world first Cold Water Curtain at Burrendong Dam, near Wellington in the New South Wales central west, has shown some positive early results.

The $3.4 million curtain was installed last year to reduce the effect of cold water pollution on downstream eco-systems.

The infrastructure surrounds the dam outlet and warmer water is diverted from the surface of the dam down to the outlet.

It means water from the bed of the dam, which can be up to 12 degrees cooler is no longer being released into the Macquarie River downstream of the dam.

The curtain is now the subject of a study by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (DPI).

Simon Mitrovic is the principle research scientist for the DPI and Senior Lecturer in the School of Life Sciences at UTS.

He says early testing, which involves taking temperatures at a number of sites both above and below the dam, indicates the curtain is working.

"It's looking like there's been about a 2 degree improvement since the curtain has been put in place," he said.

"We expect there to be greater improvement in the future as the dam gets deeper so as Burrendong Dam is quite low at the moment, the effectiveness of the curtain isn't as great as it will be when the dam is very full."

He says it is likely to have a positive impact on eco-systems below the dam.

"What I imagine is as temperatures increase we'll see organisms re-emerging and coming back upstream towards the dam."

The project is set to continue for another few years, giving a longer time frame to assess how the curtain is working.

Mr Matrovic says it may lead to similar infrastructure being installed elsewhere.

Please read full and follow at: 
http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2015/09/30/4322555.htm

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