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Scotts Peak Dam
Country Australia
Location South West Tasmania
Coordinates 43°01′52″S 146°17′46″E / 43.03111°S 146.29611°E / -43.03111; 146.29611Coordinates: 43°01′52″S 146°17′46″E / 43.03111°S 146.29611°E / -43.03111; 146.29611
Purpose Power
Status Operational
Opening date 1973 (1973)
Owner(s) Hydro Tasmania
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Embankment dam
Impounds Huon River
Height 43 metres (141 ft)
Length 1,067 metres (3,501 ft)
Dam volume 584×10^3 m3 (20.6×10^6 cu ft)
Spillways 0
Reservoir
Creates Lake Pedder
Total capacity 2,937,930 ML (103,752×10^6 cu ft)
Catchment area 734 km2 (283 sq mi)
Surface area 242 km2 (93 sq mi)
Maximum water depth 43 m (141 ft)

The Scotts Peak Dam is a rockfill embankment dam without a spillway across the Huon River, located in the South West region of Tasmania, Australia.

The impounded reservoir, also formed with the Edgar Dam and the Serpentine Dam, is called Lake Pedder which flooded Lake Edgar, a naturally forming fault scarp pond. The dam was constructed in 1973 by the Hydro Electric Corporation (TAS) as part of the Gordon River Power Development Scheme for the purpose of generating hydro-electric power via the conventional Gordon Power Station. Water from Lake Pedder is diverted to Lake Gordon (formed by the Gordon Dam) via the McPartlan Pass Canal.

Location and features

The Scotts Peak Dam, together with the Edgar Dam and the Serpentine Dam, are three major dams that form the headwaters for the Gordon River Power Development Scheme. The dam is located near Lake Pedder's most easterly point in the upper reaches of the Huon River where the river descends from the Marsden Range and descends into what is now known as the Huon Basin. Also at the southern end of the Lake Pedder, the Scotts Peak Dam impounds the upper reaches of the Huon River. At the northwestern end of the lake is impounded by the Serpentine Dam across the Serpentine River. The water in Lake Pedder provides around 40% of the water used in the Gordon Power Station. The water flows to Lake Gordon via McPartlan Canal. Water from Lake Gordon then exits through the Gordon Dam.

Built on a foundation of rock and soil, the Scotts Peak Dam wall was constructed with 584 thousand cubic metres (20.6×10^6 cu ft) of rockfill and faced with asphalt. The dam wall is 43 metres (141 ft) high and 1,067 metres (3,501 ft) long. At 100% capacity the dam wall holds back 2,937,930 megalitres (103,752×10^6 cu ft) of water. The surface area of Lake Pedder is 241,330 hectares (596,300 acres) and the catchment area is 734 square kilometres (283 sq mi). The dam wall does not have a spillway.

This non-hydroelectric dam helps retain water in the new impoundment, which then flows to Lake Gordon via the McPartlans Pass Canal at 42°50′51″S 146°11′45″E / 42.84750°S 146.19583°E / -42.84750; 146.19583 (McPartlans Pass Canal). In 2001 the dam was recorded as an Historic Engineering Marker along with twenty-four other dams by Engineers Australia.

Controversy

The construction of Scotts Peak Dam was controversial as it was built to flood Lake Pedder and extend the reservoir for the Gordon Dam. A small greens movement was formed it response, which mobilised in the 1980s to stop the proposed Franklin River Dam.

Problems

In the 2008 edition of Ticklebelly Tales engineers associated with the dam acknowledge that there were issues leaks as soon as it was built. Evidence of deformation is still current in the 2010s.

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