Rocky Creek Dam closed for engineering works

Rocky Creek Dam is about to undergo some major engineering works and will be closed to the public for about six months.

Rous Waters director of technical services, Wayne Franklin (pictured), said the work was needed to bring the dam up to current safety standards.

For over 50 years the dam has been through floods and survived but the world is getting more risk averse, standards keep increasing and we have to meet those new standards, Mr Franklin said.

He said while the works are super cautionary, there is a possibility that during a major flood the clay at the core of the dam could wash away and the whole dam wall could wash away!

We have been aware we needed to do this for a while and now we have got the funding to do it, Mr Franklin said. We have a dam safety emergency plan in place.

When water comes over the spillway we monitor it 24 hours a day... When it gets to 600mm over the spillway we advise the SES that a problem could arise. If it gets to one metre over the spillway we go onto an amber alert and contact property owners downstream that there could be a potential evacuation. If it gets to 1.8 metres over the spillway, people downstream are evacuated in case we have a failure of the dam.

The water has never got to the level where people have had to be evacuated.

The new engineering work will involve putting in trenches from the road into the core, taking half the material away and putting in a new concrete wall. The extracted material will then be put back on either side of the new wall and the top section waterproofed. A new road will be put in and the old wave wall will be replaced.

Works are expected to begin some time in July and take six months to complete.

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