By Kane Muratovski+
Improved maintenance methods are being used at Yarrawonga Weir to keep each of its 36-tonne gates in tip top condition.
Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) Storage Manager Peter Klowss and his team carry out regular maintenance on the weir’s 10 gates – which at 12 metres wide and six metres high each is no small task.
“We have initiated smarter ways of carrying out gate maintenance, which means it is easier and safer for our staff to complete this work,” Mr KIowss said.
This means dedicated access platforms for staff to use while removing algae and grime, and a transition to paints which are more environmentally-friendly.
“The platforms allow us to complete the work faster,” he said.
Maintenance is also carefully timed to provide the least disruption to traffic crossing the weir.
Before a gate can be cleaned, stop logs are placed in front of each gate to stop water flow.
A crane is then used to lower stop logs and the access platforms in place, and a team of divers assist with placement and sealing leakage at the bottom.
Two-man teams can then begin cleaning the gate with a high-pressure water blaster, and if necessary reapply a protective paint.
“We work in the earlier months of the year when there is less likelihood of flood events,” Mr Klowss said.
GMW staff have wrapped up cleaning of gate 7, with gate 4 next in line for maintenance.
+ Kane Muratovski is a Mooroopna Secondary College student who completed work experience with GMW through the Worktrainers’ Geared 4 Careers program.