Drain works start again

The Tatura Guardian - - News -

New drone tech­nol­ogy has been used to re­sume work on the Stan­hope pri­mary drain, 20 years af­ter it stalled be­cause of a lack of funds.

Goul­burn-Murray Wa­ter drain project man­ager Jar­rod O’Brien said they had in­vested in the new drone tech­nol­ogy, which was quickly be­com­ing an in­te­gral tool in the de­sign of ir­ri­ga­tion drains across the Goul­burn Murray Ir­ri­ga­tion Dis­trict.

‘‘It doesn’t cost a lot of money once you’ve pur­chased the drones,’’ Mr O’Brien said.

‘‘You can cre­ate ex­tremely ac­cu­rate mod­els, which you then put the de­signs through.’’

He said us­ing the drones was help­ing to bring down the cost of each drain.

‘‘Pre­vi­ously we would have put two or three-man sur­vey crews on the ground, but us­ing the drone we’ve been able to work out earth­work quan­ti­ties,’’ he said.

‘‘We know prior to start­ing the job where we need to re­move ma­te­rial and re­place it.

‘‘The drone work takes three to four hours and a lit­tle bit of of­fice work, but it’s saved us thou­sands of dol­lars in labour.’’

The Goul­burn Bro­ken Catch­men­tMan­age­ment Author­ity’s Carl Walters said it was pleas­ing con­struc­tion on the Stan­hope drain had re­sumed af­ter all these years.

‘‘It will al­low flows to get through to where they would nat­u­rally go,’’ Mr Walters said.

‘‘They are cur­rently blocked by chan­nels, drains.

‘‘It’s about ob­struc­tions.’’

He said the catch­ment man­age­ment author­ity’s in­volve­ment in the project was an­chored in its core business, which in this case, was pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment from the im­pacts of ir­ri­ga­tion.

‘‘These in­clude salin­ity, wa­ter qual­ity, ero­sion and neg­a­tive out­comes for na­tive veg­e­ta­tion,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s ba­si­cally about us­ing the wa­ter as ef­fi­ciently as we can.’’

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