Today marks a hundred years since the opening of the Ridgeway Dam.
Planned in the late nineteenth century with work starting in 1911, construction continued through the First World War until 1917.
The dam was at the cutting edge of engineering when it was built with the wall at a height of 87 metres, the highest gravity arch concrete dam constructed in Australia.
And the innovation at Ridgeway didn’t stop there.
The pipe from the North West Bay River which supplies water into the Ridgeway Dam was constructed using the world’s first spun steel reinforced concrete pipes. Manufactured by Australian company, Hume Pipes, the pipe system was later used in many parts of the world.
It took two years for the dam to fill, with waters sourced from the slopes of Mount Wellington/kunyani remaining as important today as they were back in 1917 to supply clean drinking water to the Hobart area.
In the 1960s, further innovation was introduced with post tensioning of the dam to ensure its ongoing structural integrity.
“Along with the storages in the Waterworks Reserve built in the mid-eighteen hundreds, today’s anniversary represents the ongoing commitment by Tasmania’s water authorities to ensure a safe and sustainable water supply for towns and cities across the state.”
To mark the anniversary, a plaque was unveiled on site today with TasWater CEO Michael Brewster recognising the importance of the dam.
“It highlights the importance of careful planning, quality construction and a commitment to meeting the needs of future generations when building long term infrastructure.”
Michael Brewster adds that this is the kind of work TasWater still does today.
TasWater is currently planning further work to ensure Ridgway Dam continues to serve the community well into its second century.
“I acknowledge that during the building of the Ridgeway Dam, sadly, three workers were killed during the six years of construction.” said Mr Brewster.
“It is a reminder that as TasWater continues to build the infrastructure of Tasmania, the safety of our workers is paramount. Every worker deserves to return home safely at the end of the day.”
TasWater