Friday, June 22, 2012

Floods in Koo Wee Rup

I heard someone on the radio this morning suggest that that the many new housing estates in the Pakenham area all drain into a channel and travels to the sea via Koo Wee Rup and this is the reason Koo Wee Rup has flooded. KWR area has a history of flooding as the land is reclaimed swamp. The woman's theory sounded plausible. I investigated.

Melbourne Water has useful information. Residents of KWR and a decent part of the surrounding area pay a special rate to MW to fund drainage and maintenance. The area is known as the Koo Wee Rup and Longwarry Flood Protection District. If a picture can tell a thousand words, a map can tell you even more. This link takes you to a PDF map showing the KWRLFPD with rivers, creeks and drains.

As you can see, the new estates of Pakenham drain into Toomuc Creek which then drains with other waterways into a direct drain to the sea which is a fair distance from any town. I can only conclude that the flooding of KWR is nothing to do with the new Pakenham estates, much as I would like to be critical of the new estates for having a lack of infrastructure.

It seems the flooding is coming from the South East Main Drain, its major river input coming from the Bunyip River with many other natural waterways and constructed drains pouring in as well, with little drainage from any new housing estates. It is not a bad idea to query about flooding before you but a house built on an old swamp, and there are many of them.

Ok, so I can't blame the new housing estates in Pakenham, but I don't think the government can be let off lightly as local residents are complaining about the lack of maintenance and clearing of the drains around KWR. Ah, that would be what they are paying the special levy to the KWRLFPD for.

Another government department has not been performing well either. I point you to the Vic Roads web site map of road closures. It was hopelessly behind this morning but does seem to have caught up now. If a major highway such as the South Gippsland Highway is closed, it should be immediately shown on the map as it happens.


  1. Bunyip River is the culprit, as is slack attitudes towards keeping these drains flowing freely. Pathetic really.

    Heatherton Rd was closed due to flooding when I drove out that way last night. It always floods at its lowest point.

  2. Pretty basic stuff Fen. They should do the basics at least and keep drains clear.

  3. Anonymous7:56 pm

    Hi Andrew, this is Andy writing from Germany. How you consider the risk of flood ( say during 10 years ) for the area east of Pakenham between Princess Fwy and Bald Hill road ( this area where the railway track laying in direction to Nar Nar Goon? Can you help me in this question. Thx. in advance, Andy, Hanover, Germany

    1. Hi Andy. I suggest it is an area susceptible to flooding. But having said that, I think it is unlikely. I think the drainage is good and I believe some quite extensive rail yards are going to built there. Not far along is Nar Nar Goon and to my knowledge, it has never flooded. New housing estates are being built on former flood plains and they are very well drained. Of course I am curious as to why you ask?

  4. Anonymous6:04 pm

    Hi Andrew, it is because of the new rail yards and during IT research i find this blog. Noe I got a second statement - both saying the same.
    As I am anaylzing the area risk profile for the construction...Thanks a lot for your help! Cheers