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Lake Eppalock
Lake Eppalock Victoria.JPG
Lake Eppalock pictured in 2010
Country Australia
Location North central region, Victoria
Coordinates 36°51′55.5″S 144°31′19.5″E / 36.865417°S 144.522083°E / -36.865417; 144.522083Coordinates: 36°51′55.5″S 144°31′19.5″E / 36.865417°S 144.522083°E / -36.865417; 144.522083
Purpose Water supply, irrigation
Status Operational
Construction began 1960 (1960)
Opening date 1964 (1964)
Owner(s) Goulburn–Murray Water
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Embankment dam
Impounds
Height (foundation) 47 m (154 ft)
Length 400 m (1,300 ft)
Dam volume 14,170×10^3 m3 (500×10^6 cu ft)
Spillways 3
Spillway type Controlled chute
Spillway capacity 8,040 m3/s (284,000 cu ft/s)
Reservoir
Creates Lake Eppalock
Total capacity 304,651 ML (6.7014×1010 imp gal; 8.0480×1010 US gal)
Catchment area 2,124 km2 (820 sq mi)
Surface area 30.11 km2 (11.63 sq mi)
Maximum width 400 m (1,300 ft)
Maximum water depth 30 m (98 ft)
Normal elevation 193.8 metres (636 ft) AHD
Website
Lake Eppalock at Goulburn–Murray Water

Lake Eppalock is an Australian reservoir in North Central Victoria about 130 kilometres (81 mi) northwest of Melbourne. It was formed by the construction of a major earth and rockfill embankment dam, known as Eppalock Dam, with a controlled chute spillway across the Campaspe and the Coliban rivers. The lake is situated between the regional population centres of Bendigo and Heathcote and serves as a major water storage facility for both places, as well as the Campaspe irrigation district. The lake also serves as a popular sports and recreational facility.

Location and features

The dam was built by the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission of Victoria. The dam wall height is 45 metres (148 ft) and the main embankment is 1,041 metres (3,415 ft) long. At 100% capacity the dam wall was designed to hold back 304,651 megalitres (6.7014×1010 imp gal; 8.0480×1010 US gal) of water. The surface area of Lake Eppalock is 3,011 hectares (7,440 acres) and the catchment area is 2,124 square kilometres (820 sq mi). The controlled spillway is capable of discharging 8,040 cubic metres per second (284,000 cu ft/s).

Lake Eppalock supplies both stock and domestic water to the Campaspe irrigation district. It also serves as a water supply to Bendigo and Heathcote and, in more recent times, Ballarat.

The lake is a major attraction for those engaging in watersports, with a number of tourist parks and accommodation facilities available. Permissible activities on the lake include high-speed boating, water skiing, sailing, canoeing, fishing and swimming. The lake's water levels were low for approximately eight years between 2002 and 2010 during a prolonged drought, which restricted the amount of recreational activity until rainfall in the latter half of 2010 returned the lake to 100 percent capacity. A speed restriction of 5 knots is placed on the lake when the level falls below 16 percent or 180 metres (590 ft) AHD .

Camping is permitted only in caravan parks and/or on private land surrounding the lake with a permit from the land owner.

Built between 1961 and 1964, Lake Eppalock remains the only water storage on the Campaspe River system. The lake was full in August 2000 then ran dry over two years, to 2002. It remained below 15 percent for 8 years due to drought. The reservoir rose from 8 percent in June 2010, to full capacity by November. The lake overflowed its spillway for the first time since 1996, on 28 November 2010, after significant rainfall over the preceding 48 hours. As of August 2015, the lake was at 44% capacity, down from 74% a year earlier.

Lake Eppalock is administered by Goulburn–Murray Water.

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