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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 3

I Background

II Early European Settlements

III Assessment Of Available Water Resources

IV Water Supplies For Goldmining Development

V Irrigation Development

VI Farm And Stock Water Supplies

VII Urban Water Supplies
i Reticulation systems
ii Water treatment
iii Water saving techniques
iv Desalination
v Conjunctive use - West Pilbara water supply
vi Conjunctive use - Newcastle and district water supply scheme
vii Olympic Dam mining project - water supply
viii Urban water supply dams in South Australia
ix Multi-purpose schemes - the Wivenhoe project

VIII Wastewater Management And Treatment

IX Water Quality Management

X Limnological And Water Quality Research

XI New Techniques In Water Resource Planning And Management

XII Legislation

XIII Conclusion

XIV List Of Abbreviations

XV Acknowledgements

XVI Plantations-high Productivity Resources



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Urban water supply dams in South Australia

Three dams constructed in South Australia as units of the Adelaide metropolitan water supply system are described briefly, because they incorporated innovative features at the time of their construction. Larger and more recent dams in other parts of Australia are covered in Chapter 6.

Beetaloo Dam, built in the 1890s, was at that time the highest concrete gravity dam in the Southern Hemisphere. It was also notable that the entire concrete mixing plant for this project was constructed by the South Australian Engineering and Water Supply Department.

Barossa Dam, completed in 1902, was an engineering innovation for its time, being of the thin-wall concrete arch type. It is 39 m high and has a volume of 13,760 m3, the reservoir capacity being 4,500 ML. Unusual construction features were the use of large 'plums' of gneiss to within 4 m of the crest to economise on mixed concrete and the reinforcement of the top section of the dam with second-hand tramrails.

Kangaroo Creek Dam, completed in 1969, was the first concrete-faced compacted rockfill dam in the world in which the bulk of the rockfill was a weak rock instead of the conventional hard mineral rock. This successful departure from previous practice paved the way for the economic construction of many more dams of the same type around the world.

The site had appeared ideal for a concrete arch dam, but detailed geologic examination, with particular note of several failures in other countries due to site inadequacies, disclosed seams of soft material. This would have required costly excavation of the left abutment and it was decided to use a rockfill dam.

The dam is 81 m high, with a rockfill volume of 360,000 m3 and 14,000 m3 of concrete. It impounds 26,400 ML of water.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - South Australia. Engineering and Water Supply Department

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© 1988 Print Edition pages 176 - 178, Online Edition 2000
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