Lake Buffalo is located on the Buffalo River, 24 km south of Myrtleford in north-eastern Victoria. The dam, which forms Lake Buffalo, was constructed in 1965 and has a catchment of approximately 1,062 km2 and a capacity of approximately 24,000 ML. The dam comprises of two earth and rockfill embankments, a primary concrete spillway with 3 vertical lift fixed wheel gates and an unlined secondary spillway. Each gate is suspended and operated by a pair of wire rope hoist units, which are mounted on the overhead platform supported by piers. The primary spillway has two irrigation outlets to allow downstream releases to be made to meet irrigation, urban and environmental releases.
Goulburn Murray Water (GMW) is currently funding a $2.96 million project at the Lake Buffalo dam, which will enhance the long term reliability of the gates and their safe operation. The upgrade includes the replacement of all three existing flood gate lifting hoists and the refurbishment of the spillway gates. The works will be carried out in two stages, with the first stage due to be completed during winter 2016.
The stage one works include the replacement of the hoist and platform over gate 1, the extension of the generator shed, and the replacement of the electric cabinets and the controls system for the gate, along with upgrading the access to the platforms. The access platform for one of the irrigation valves will also be removed and be incorporated into the new platform above gate 1, eliminating a large number of OH&S issues with accessing the valve under the current arrangement. During this time gate 1 will be removed, refurbished and painted, as will the embedded steelwork in the spillway piers.
The stage two works will be undertaken in autumn/winter 2017, to upgrade gates 2 and 3 in the same manner as gate 1.
Once completed this project will ensure a safe working environment for staff, while providing a robust and fit for purpose hoisting and control system for the three spillway gates in the buffalo dam spillway.
The photos below show some of the work already carried out and we look forward to completing stage one during this winter.
Author: John Fitzpatrick