Over the past 12 years Murrumbidgee Irrigation (MI) have engaged AWMA to design, manufacture and install hundreds of water control stuctures for the modernisation of assets within their delivery system.
One of the largest programs undertaken involved the modernisation of MI’s Outfalls/Escape structures. Escape structures are located at the end of irrigation channels allowing any excess flows to exit channel systems. The AWMA automation provides information and accountability to the management and performance of those channels.
Over 100 MI Escape structures have been upgraded including Head & Discharge Gates, with 24V Thompson actuators, full Kingfisher RTU Control Systems and solar power. AWMA developed the software required to provide a direct link into MI’s existing SCADA system. Subsequently, MI staff from either the Leeton or Griffith office, can examine all monitored escape structures from any computer (via secure access), to automatically control and monitor the Escape in real time.
The Head & Discharge gate contains an undershot gate for potential drainage and an overshot gate with an ultrasonic sensor to manage upstream fluctuations. All overfall volume is monitored and recorded for analysis and justification of water exiting the channel system. The monitoring of escape structures is required to provide the information necessary to make more informed decisions regarding operational procedures and possible water savings. Water exiting the irrigation delivery networks via Escapes, can be classed as an environmental benefit or loss depending on where the water flows to once it has exited the system. Regardless, it’s imperative that Escapes are monitored to ensure accountability of the system and to identify areas that require further remedial action to reduce negative environmental impacts of channel water entering natural waterways and drains.