An innovative upgrade of the Tea Garden Creek Weir will ensure irrigation and stock and domestic water continues to flow to the Wangaratta region.
The upgrade - undertaken by Goulburn-Murray Water’s (GMW) works teams - not only extended the weir’s life by about 30 years, it also saved about $1.25 million compared with the cost of replacing the weir.
GMW Regional Customer Service Manager East Martina Cusack said the weir was established in the Ovens River in the 1960s to supply irrigation and stock and domestic water down the Tea Garden Creek.
“When it was identified some remediation works were needed at the Tea Garden Creek Weir, we saw this as an opportunity to not only extend its life, but to change the way we operate the weir to make it easier and safer for our work teams,” Ms Cusack said.
“We quickly realised a rebuild wasn’t needed because the core was sound, so we got to work identifying a way of remediating the structure – which included some underwater work.
“Our works consisted of two new layers around the weir’s core. The first was an outer skeleton layer made of steel and the second is an epoxy grout, which displaces the water and bonds to the concrete and steel surfaces.”
Ms Cusack said the upgrade had the teams thinking outside the box.
“Through innovative thinking, we’ve made financial savings and achieved a stronger and safer structure,” she said.
“All materials used were non-toxic and safe to use in water and we used professional diving services, which ensured the Ovens River flowed freely throughout the program supplying Wangaratta town water and environmental flows.
“On top of this, river banks were undisturbed, meaning minimal disturbance to the ecosystem.”
She said the combined efforts of many multiple teams across GMW promoted a successful outcome to this multi-disciplinary project.