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Melton Reservoir

Public notices

A Blue Green Algae (BGA) bloom warning is current for Melton Reservoir

Warning signs advising people not to swim, fish or come in contact with the water have been erected at the reservoir, and boating is also not recommended.

Blue Green Algae can be dangerous to humans and animals. It can cause skin rashes or itchiness; sore eyes, ears and nose; or if swallowed, gastroenteritis, nausea or vomiting. People who come into direct contact with contaminated water should wash immediately in fresh water.

Water from Melton Reservoir should not be used for drinking, cooking or other domestic uses. Boiling the affected water will not make it safe for use.Pet owners should prevent pets from drinking or having direct contact with contaminated water.

If you are experiencing a health issue you think is related to contact with water contaminated by BGA, please seek medical advice promptly.SRW will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates accordingly.


History

The reservoir was initially constructed between 1913 and 1916 to store 21,000 megalitres (ML) of water for irrigation at Werribee. The embankment was raised in 1937 and vertical lift spillway gates were installed. This increased the capacity to 23,500 ML. Since then siltation has reduced its total volume back to 14,340 ML.

Major upgrade works were undertaken from 1988 to 1994 to allow the dam to pass the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF). The primary spillway was remodelled with the removal of the flood gates, construction of a fixed crest, and the spillway chute deepened. As this spillway could only pass about 20% of the PMF, a secondary spillway was required. As a result the main embankment had its crest capped in concrete and concrete steps were provided on the downstream face to enable it to act as a secondary spillway.

Purpose

The reservoir was initially constructed between 1913 and 1916 to store 21,000 megalitres (ML) of water for irrigation at Werribee. The embankment was raised in 1937 and vertical lift spillway gates were installed. This increased the capacity to 23,500 ML. Since then siltation has reduced its total volume back to 14,340 ML.

Major upgrade works were undertaken from 1988 to 1994 to allow the dam to pass the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF). The primary spillway was remodelled with the removal of the flood gates, construction of a fixed crest, and the spillway chute deepened. As this spillway could only pass about 20% of the PMF, a secondary spillway was required. As a result the main embankment had its crest capped in concrete and concrete steps were provided on the downstream face to enable it to act as a secondary spillway.

Statistics
RESERVOIR
Capacity 14,364 ML
Dead storage 141 ML
Surface area 230 ha
Full supply level 82.56 m AHD
Catchment area 1,114 km2
EMBANKMENT
Maximum height 35.4 m
Length 181 m
PRIMARY SPILLWAY
Crest length 130 m
Discharge capacity* 147,000 ML per day
SECONDARY SPILLWAY
Crest length 181 m
Discharge capacity * 60,000 ML per day

* Melton Dam was upgraded to withstand overtopping in 1994. The secondary spillway is the dam embankment itself.

Location


Melton Reservoir (also known as Exford Weir) is located on the Werribee River approximately 6kms south of Melton – VicRoads Reference Map 97 G4.

Please check the water levels before planning a day out at the lake!

Bulk entitlements

A Bulk Entitlement Order is a set of operating rules for a reservoir.

At Southern Rural Water (SRW) we deal with the following Bulk Entitlement Orders:

  • Latrobe
  • Maribyrnong
  • Yallourn Energy
  • Werribee
  • Thomson/Macalister

Because more than one organisation or group can have shares (or entitlement) in the water being held in a reservoir, each shareholder must follow rules about:

  • the volumes that can be taken from the reservoir, system or waterway
  • costs of managing the system, and how they are shared

At a number of reservoirs, SRW acts as the storage manager on behalf of all shareholders.
As a storage manager, we: 

  • allocate water (both increases and decreases) according to the inflow and capacity shares held by shareholders
  • ensure that we meet the rules for passing flows downstream for environmental purposes
  • release water to meet a shareholder’s request

Passing flows are a vital part of our Bulk Entitlement Orders and are met before allocation requests are supplied.

Environmental entitlements

Environmental Entitlement Orders spell out a whole pattern of environmental flows that are required downstream of a reservoir – from how long they last, to how frequently they flow and how large they are.

Environmental flows are designed to mimic the natural conditions of rivers. It is not just about the amount of water but also the timing and quality. In each order, environmental flow requirements are low during the summer and autumn, and are much higher during winter and spring.

Environmental flows are vital to supporting the river’s ecological processes. High flows provide triggers for fish breeding and supply water for fish passage, so that they are able to move up and down rivers to appropriate habitat. They also keep estuaries open and provide recreational opportunities. Low flows in summer maintain fish refuges and connect habitats. Spring floods regenerate wetlands and floodplains and replenish the river channel.

Monitoring

To make sure that we comply with the rules about passing environmental flows, we:

  • perform random checks at points along rivers, to ensure that customers are taking only the amount of waterthey have ordered
  • maintain a number of gauging stations with alarms that alert us of unusual changes in water levels.

More information
For more information contact us on 1300 139 510 or visit www.srw.com.au.

Download Factsheet

Melton Reservoir boating

Melton Reservoir has a large number of snags and for safety reasons, no boating is allowed other than under the control of the Melbourne Runabout and Speedboat Club.

More information
For more information, contact us on 1300 139 510 or visit http://www.srw.com.au

 

www.srw.com.ai

Melton Reservoir visitors guide

Southern Rural Water (SRW) needs to manage our dams and catchments carefully to maintain a high quality supply of water. We encourage all visitors to work with us to minimise any impact to Melton Reservoir and its surrounds, and to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time here.

Please note: The Melton Recreational Reserve area will be closed to the public until further notice while we undertake some  repairs.

More information
For more information contact us on 1300 139 510 or visit www.srw.com.au

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