Trial tidal gates at Swansea are set to reduce dry weather flooding in the low-lying suburb and alleviate the impacts of climate change, Lake Macquarie City Council has announced.
The gates are installed in stormwater pipes at Bowman Street and south of the Swansea McDonald’s car park.
Lake Macquarie City Council Manager Environmental Systems, Karen Partington said the tidal gates project would provide significant benefit to the Swansea community.
“This innovation may help reduce the number of days a year that the CBD experiences tidal inundation,” Ms Partington said.
She said the tidal gates trial would test the effectiveness of two different designs and provide insight into the costs and benefits of the project.
The gates have been designed to operate automatically, opening to release stormwater during rain events and closing to prevent tidal water from inundating local roads and infrastructure.
“The tidal gates will be monitored over the next few years to assess their effectiveness,” Ms Partington said.
“There is a possibility of scaling up the project to other low-lying areas of Swansea, and potentially other suburbs of Lake Macquarie experiencing similar issues.”
The tidal gates project is a key action in the draft Local Adaptation Plan (LAP) for Pelican, Blacksmiths, Swansea, Swansea Heads and Caves Beach.
The draft LAP aims to assist these coastal suburbs vulnerable to flooding and coastal risks. It provides a plan to adapt these communities to the projected impacts of climate change and sea level rise.
Resident Cheryl Daley said the tidal gates pilot was an idea that originated from the community as a way to manage flooding issues.
“We are optimistic that this pilot will be successful,” Ms Daley said.
“It’s fantastic to see a strategy and action plan in place to make Swansea more resilient.”
The pilot project is funded by Local Government NSW through the NSW Government’s Increasing Resilience to Climate Change grant.