Ardgowan - the last sluice gate

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This is the last sluice gate in the race. I have not found its design (yet) in the set of original drawings [that's just a matter of having the time] so I cannot say for sure if it is original, however the designer engineer Donald McLeod, utilised concrete in many structures along the race and the form follows the form of all the byewash sluice gates in the original design. Its construction in concrete follows from its placement - in the race rather than on an aqueduct (where other sluices were constructed integral with the wooden fluming) I hope you get this? In this view the water flows left to right. The view is upstream of the byewash. You can see the grooves in the concrete that accepted the sliding gates - one to block water from entering the reservoir where the grove structure is preserved and one to block off the byewash to dirct water into the reservoir - this one having been modified by filling the grooves with concrete and fitting some steel guided for a (thin steel) outwash gate. In use the outwash gate gate was opened and the other closed, to divert dirty water into the natural watercourse at the location and thence down Mill Creek. When the water was running clear (this generally being at the end of each Wednesday when the race had been cleaned out and the water diverted back into it way up at Duntroon over 45km away) the outwash gate would be closed and the other opened and water would again course into the reservoir. Just 20 metres downstream of this point is the last tunnel on the race, Tunnel 5, under Ardgowan Road and just 146 metres in length. Its exit portal is inside the reservoir reserve and there is about 200 metres of race in the reserve downstream o the tunnel before the water actually reaches the reservoir pond proper. as originally constructed, these diversion gates were made from Kauri boards and they were supported on stout timber frames bridging the byewash. Each had a handwheel operated, square threaded shaft which made the gate rise and fall. Just one of these gates survives and can be seen in photograph No.27189887 in this set. Not visible in this pic is a sloping grate, upstream of this facility, which collected sticks and logs and other detritus (which would certainly, at times, have included the carcasses of dead sheep!) brought down by the water as the race filled after cleaning and at other times. This short section of the race was under the control of the raceman who lived in the [extant] cottage at the reservoir and who was responsible for the reservoir operation. The now elderly daughter of one such raceman who lived there 70 years ago, recalls going with her father as an infant, to watch him do his "work" at these gates.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on September 25, 2009
  • Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works
    by Bruce Comfort
    • Camera: OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. FE230/X790
    • Taken on 2009/02/14 12:09:51
    • Exposure: 0.006s (1/160)
    • Focal Length: 10.30mm
    • F/Stop: f/4.200
    • ISO Speed: ISO50
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash