Recent heavy rain and flooding in East Gippsland is a timely reminder to landowners to check the safety and integrity of their farm dams, Southern Rural Water’s manager of Groundwater and Rivers Bryce Morden said.
“Already this year, we have seen above average rainfall in East Gippsland causing soaked conditions in the catchments, and significant flooding in the region over the last few weeks,” he said.
“Conditions have been closer to average in the state’s west, however as we head into the traditionally wetter autumn and winter periods, it is very important that landowners check the safety of their farm dams.”
Southern Rural Water recommends that landowners regularly check dam walls and dam spillways.
Spillways need to be designed to take a one-in-100-year flood and must be kept free of obstructions. They should also ensure any compensation or outlet pipes are working effectively.
Landholders are urged to inspect dam walls for any signs of leaking, cracking, slippage or erosion and ensure the dam wall is kept clear of trees, shrubs, weeds and livestock, which can cause erosion.
“Some landowners in the region have found out the hard way in recent years that a failed dam is expensive to repair and can deny them a vital source of water when they need it most,” he said.
“Collapsed dams can also cause significant damage to the environment and to neighbouring downstream properties. If your dam collapses and causes damage to someone else’s property, you may be liable for the costs.”
For more information on farm dams, phone Southern Rural Water on 1300 139 510 or visit www.srw.com.au.