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Published: 04 July 2010   •   Media release

River Murray users will not be able to pass through Lock 6 at Murtho in South Australia for about 12 weeks from July 5 while essential maintenance work is undertaken by SA Water on behalf of the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA).

The lock closure is part of a six-year maintenance program on all of the locks along the river. This is the first time the Lock 6 chamber has been emptied since the late1960s when the wooden gates were replaced with steel. The empty lock chamber will allow SA Water to do a comprehensive inspection and maintenance of the underwater components.

Although users will not be able to travel the full length of the river during this period, they will still be able to enjoy using the river either upstream or downstream of Lock 6.

The grounds and facilities around the lock will also be closed to the general public and will reopen following completion of the maintenance works.

Works to be carried out on Lock 6 include:

  • building temporary dams on the upstream and downstream ends of the lock chamber;
  • emptying the lock chamber of water;
  • inspecting and repainting the lock chamber gates;
  • replacing the large valves which control the flow of water into and out of the lock chamber;
  • inspecting the chamber floor; and
  • any repairs on components which would normally be submerged.

Consultation with River Murray tourism operators has helped to develop the works program to minimise the interruption.

The community will be notified when the work is complete and the lock chamber is back in operation.

The lock and weirs have been operating for more than 80 years and this work will ensure that they continue to operate for a long time to come.

The next lock scheduled for maintenance is Lock 4 at Bookpurnong, South Australia and it is anticipated work will begin in January 2011. The public will be notified prior to the closure of the lock.

For more information and for media inquiries contact Matthew Peake, Media Officer, SA Water, (08) 7424 1840, Mobile 0438 871 854.

Photo: Arthur Mostead

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