River

‘Mossie’ Opening Celebrated

Wednesday 4 January, 2012
It is said that some people would attend the opening of an envelope.

It is said that some people would attend the opening of an envelope.

But the opening of a drain is a whole different story, which you need to hear to understand the community pride and pleasure in marking the occasion.

What is affectionately known as Mossie 8/25 around Byrneside — near Tatura — took 12 years to be delivered and was celebrated at the Byrneside community hall recently.

Member for Rodney Paul Weller was among those who marked the commissioning of the “Mosquito 8/25” Communiy Surface Water Management System, which is 1.5 km long and services five properties within the broader Byrneside Drainage Depression catchment hat covers almost 46 000 ha.

Mr Weller, who grew up on an irrigation farm at Lockington, said he took no convincing of the importance of draining farm land as well as irrigating it.

‘‘You’re preaching to the converted here,’’ Mr Weller said, before others involved described the slow process of getting the drain from idea to operation.

Mossie 8/25 was initiated by the community and a survey and design comple- ted in 1999. Ian Bertram recalled ‘‘all those long evenings arguing the toss with architects and designers’’. The system directly protects about 55.2 ha from waterlogging and increased salinity risk due to inefficient drainage of irrigation-induced rainfall run-off.

Farmer Dale Manuel said while it had been a long process, he and other landholders who will benefit from Mosquito 8/25 were very appreciative.

‘‘When you have lived here 50 or 60 years you have a real feel for the area and what it’s capable of,’’ Mr Manuel said.

DPI’s Neil McLeod explained the drain was designed to remove 50 mm of rain that fell in a 24-hour period, within five days.

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority sustainable irrigation manager Carl Walters said the odd name for the drain was quite simple really.

‘‘There was the Mosquito Main Drain, then the 25th spur drain, and this is the 8th spur on this spur drain: hence Mosquito Drain 8/25P — P stands for private or community,’’ Mr Walters said.

Team effort . . . Ross Crawford, Carl Walters, David Lee, part of the survey and design group, Sam Green from G-MW, farmer Dale Manuel and

Team effort . . . Ross Crawford, Carl Walters, David Lee, part of the survey and design group, Sam Green from G-MW, farmer Dale Manuel and earthworks contractor Bruce Fuller.

Away . . . ‘‘Mossie 8/25’’ was designed to take away 50 mm of rain falling in a 24-hour

Away . . . ‘‘Mossie 8/25’’ was designed to take away 50 mm of rain falling in a 24-hour period, within five days.

Pictures: Cathy Walker