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The Maroondah Dam is a rock foundation concrete gravity dam with an uncontrolled rock chute spillway across the Watts River, located in the Central region of the Australian state of Victoria. The storage created by the dam is called Maroondah Reservoir. The principal purpose of the dam and its reservoir is to supply potable water for Greater Metropolitan Melbourne.[2]

Maroondah Dam
Maroondah Dam at capacity, October 2011.jpg
Maroondah Dam at capacity, October 2011
Maroondah Dam is located in Victoria
Maroondah Dam
Location of the Maroondah Dam in Victoria
Locationnear Healesville Victoria
Coordinates37°38′07″S 145°34′04″E / 37.63528°S 145.56778°E / -37.63528; 145.56778Coordinates: 37°38′07″S 145°34′04″E / 37.63528°S 145.56778°E / -37.63528; 145.56778
PurposePotable water supply
Construction beganOctober 1920
Opening date1927
Operator(s)Melbourne Water
Dam and spillways
Type of damCyclopean Concrete Gravity Dam
ImpoundsWatts River
Height41 m (135 ft)
Length291 m (955 ft)
Dam volume132×10^3 m3 (4.7×10^6 cu ft)
Spillway typeUncontrolled concrete Ogee-shaped overflow weir with rock channel chute
Spillway capacity465 m3/s (16,400 cu ft/s)
CreatesMaroondah Reservoir
Total capacity22,179 ML (783.2×10^6 cu ft)
Catchment area10,400 ha (26,000 acres)
Surface area200 ha (490 acres)
Maroondah Reservoir at Melbourne Water


Location and featuresEdit

Constructed in the 1920s by the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works, it is now operated by Melbourne Water.[3] Like most of Melbourne's water harvesting reservoirs, the entire catchment is eucalypt forest completely closed to human activity, as is the reservoir itself. Immediately below the concrete dam, the Maroondah Reservoir Park[4] features a large garden landscaped in an "English style", featuring many exotic plants very different from the surrounding native vegetation. A walking track leads across the dam, over the spillway, and up to a lookout from which much of the reservoir can be viewed.


Following the Yan Yean and Toorourrong schemes, the Maroondah Dam scheme was the third water supply source for Melbourne. The Maroondah Aqueduct was built in 1886–1881 to supply water to the Preston Reservoir from a diversion weir on the Watts River. The level for the aqueduct was determined by the site of the proposed Maroondah Reservoir. Preparatory work for the dam was undertaken during the period 1915–1919. Construction commenced in October 1920 and was completed in 1927. During this period the capacity of the Maroondah Aqueduct was increased.[3]

In 1986 the reservoir spillway was widened and in 1989 the stability of the concrete dam was enhanced using ground anchors.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Register of Large Dams in Australia" (Excel (requires download)). Dams information. The Australian National Committee on Large Dams Incorporated. 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  2. ^ "Maroondah Reservoir". Supply water: Water storage reservoirs. Melbourne Water. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  3. ^ a b Ritchie, E. G. (October 1934). "Melbourne's Water Supply Undertaking" (PDF). Journal of Institution of Engineers Australia. 6: 379–382. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 April 2011.
  4. ^ "Maroondah Reservoir Park: Park Notes" (PDF). Parks Victoria. Government of Victoria. August 2004. Retrieved 27 November 2011.