Construction of the Rocky Creek Dam circa 1950.Photo The Northern Star Archives
Construction of the Rocky Creek Dam circa 1950.Photo The Northern Star Archives The Northern Star Archives

History: Construction of region’s lifeblood

ROCKY Creek Dam was completed in 1953 to supply drinking water to Lismore, Byron Bay and Bangalow.

Construction began in 1949, but the idea for the Rocky Creek Water Scheme first arose in the late 1880s when the area was proclaimed a water reserve.

Lismore engineer Dayal Singh was contracted to build the rock and clay dam, with the work completed mainly by local people.

The dam wall was originally designed as a concrete structure before the Second World War, but was redesigned as an earth structure after the war ended.

Built on the Rocky and Gibbergunyah creeks, the lake area covers more than 200ha and holds 14,000 megalitres at capacity.

The site, 187m above sea level at capacity, was high enough to allow water to run by gravity to all the towns.

The estimated cost of building the dam was £500,000, but it eventually cost more than double that.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Dam embankment height is 28m
  • Dam wall length is 220m
  • Catchment area is 31sq m
  • Bangalow was the first community to receive water from the dam


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