Warragamba Dam’s viewing platform has finally been reopened to the public today after almost 18 months of closure.
The platform at Eighteenth Street was closed in October 2016 after fragments of sheeting material containing asbestos were found when Sydney Water, WaterNSW and the Rural Fire Service conducted a hazard reduction burn.
Sydney Water had to do a site assessment and make a remediation plan to ensure the site was safe.
Sydney Water found that 13 tonnes of asbestos had been dumped across the 10-hectare property.
Specialist consultants collected more than 100 air samples and a number of soil samples around the viewing platform and Eighteenth Street. Remediation was then carried out.
All safety and environmental checks have been completed.
Sydney Water portfolio manager Grant May said the removal of the material and the remediation of the site was “complex”.
“It was imperative that we didn’t reopen the platform until all health and safety and environmental checks had been completed, fully tested and approved,” he said.
“We thank Wollondilly Council and WaterNSW for their collaboration on this project and also thank local residents and visitors for their patience.
“We are confident that the inconvenience is a small price to pay to ensure the safety of the site and the well-being of people attending Warragamba Dam.”
A WaterNSW spokesman said it had taken the opportunity to refurbish the platform at the viewing area because it was a popular community spot.
Mayor Judith Hannan was pleased to see the site reopened.
“Wollondilly Council appreciates the commitment and hard work of WaterNSW and Sydney Water to make the Eighteenth Street viewing platform area safe and ready to reopen,” she said.
“The viewing platform provides both tourism and economic benefits to Warragamba, providing the public with a greater connection to the Dam and bringing visitors into the township.
“I would like to acknowledge the assistance given by councillor Matt Gould and everyone who was involved in achieving this great outcome for Warragamba.”
A short drive from the dam through Warragamba town, the lookout provides a view of the auxiliary spillway and a distant view of Warragamba Dam wall.