Dartmouth flood and emergency training pays off

Wednesday 21 June, 2017

A joint flood operation and emergency training exercise was held recently at Dartmouth Dam to ensure staff are prepared for a range of high-risk situations.

Murray-Darling Basin Authority representatives joined AGL staff and Goulburn-Murray Water staff to carry out the one-day exercise.

GMW Dartmouth Storage Manager Peter Liepkalns said the exercise was to bring the three agencies together and ensure they understood the expectations of one another.

A number of flood operation and emergency scenarios were considered.

Participants were able to consider what they would do as Dartmouth Dam approached and exceeded full capacity, including operational alternatives available to MDBA.

“We considered the options if the dam spills and how increased flows would be passed through the AGL-owned and operated power station at the dam and also the regulating pondage,” Mr Liepkalns said.

“The AGL assets at the pondage include three turbines, three flood gates and a spillway.”

He said in all scenarios each agency needed to work effectively with each other, to ensure that the downstream community were informed as well as liaise with the Bureau of Meteorology.

“Our Dam Safety Manager David Jeffery provided an opportunity for each agency to demonstrate their ability to cope with several dam safety emergency scenarios.

“It was considered a very successful exercise.

“It was a great chance to have these conversations and each agency now has a greater appreciation of each other’s responsibilities and capabilities,” Mr Liepkalns said.

GMW General Manager Customer Operations Scott Barber said the exercise provided increased practical knowledge and understanding of emergency management between parties. 

“It has strengthened relationships between the organisations and was a great success. 

“Thanks go to the Dartmouth team who hosted the exercise, Peter Liepkalns for developing and presenting the scenarios and MDBA River Operator Kerry Greenwood.”

The training was last held three years ago but will now be an annual exercise.

Also, following positive feedback, AGL has suggested a similar exercise take place in coming months for similar GMW, AGL and Pacific Hydro assets at Lake Eildon.