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Lock passage information, times and phone numbers


Lock pasage

Lock Operating Hours (South Australia)

The hours of passage through lock chamber and weirs Number 1 to 9 are:

8.00 to 11.30 am / 1.00 to 4.30 pm
7 days a week. Closed Christmas Day

Traversing a Lock

Traversing a lock is quick simple, if a few basic rules are observed.
Before approaching the lock, indicate to the lock attendant your intention to proceed.

It is your responsibility to contact the Lock attendant, preferably by using one of the following signals:

Three prolonged blasts (4 seconds each) on a whistle, air or electric horn or other suitable device ie mobile phone

Lock 1 to 9 phone numbers

1 - (08) 8540 5001
2 - (08) 8543 2246
3 - (08) 8588 7005
4 - (08) 8582 1388
5 - (08) 8595 5114
6 - (08) 8595 8025
7 - (03) 5027 8225
8 - (03) 5027 8231
9 - (03) 5028 2235

A Red Flashing Light on top of the control boxes will indicate the Lock attendant has acknowledged your intentions and the chamber is being prepared for a lockage.

Do not approach within 150 metres of the lock until the signal to proceed has been given by the lock attendant. This will be indicated by a Green Flashing Light.

Lock attendant will direct where vessel is to stop in lock chamber. SA Water suggest that you have a person standing by your ropes for the duration of the lockage. This should avoid any possible damage to vessel and / or persons.

For more information contact SA Water (08) 8595 2222

SA Water reserves the right to refuse a lockage if conditions are not conducive to ensure a safe lockage.

Applications for out of hours lockages should be made in writing to:

The Manager, Murray River Operations Unit
South Australian Water Corporation
PO Box 546, Berri SA 5343
Phone (08) 8595 2222

At least 7 days in advance and must include scheduled fee

A Day in the Life of a Lockmaster

ABC Open Riverland on Vimeo.

How a lock works?

How a lock worksFor a boat to pass downstream through the Lock, the water inside the chamber must be at the same level as the top weir pool, to allow the gates to open. The top gates are opened by hydraulic powered arms to allow the boat to enter. The gates are closed behind the boat and the water in the lock chamber is released by opening large hydraulically operated butterfly valves. The butterfly valves are only slightly smaller than an average house door.

Water flows from the lock chamber, via tunnels, to the weir pool below. As the water level in the chamber drops, the boat is lowered with it, until equal to the level of the lower weir pool. The bottom gates are then opened and the boat continues on its way. The water levels in locks are raised and lowered entirely by gravity; no pumps are used.

To travel upstream the reverse occurs. After the boat enters the lock chamber and the gates are closed behind it, valves are opened above the upstream gates to fill the chamber, via tunnels from the top weir pool. Water enters the chamber from the tunnels through ports spaced along the bottom of each wall.

This is to distribute the inflowing water to minimise turbulence in the lock chamber as it fills. When the water level in the lock chamber is equal to the weir pool, the gates can be opened and the boat can proceed.

It takes only 7 minutes to empty or fill the lock chamber but it normally takes 15 to 20 minutes to pass a boat through the lock. Six to eight medium houseboats can be accommodated in one lockage.

Learn more about locks and weirs on the Murray River


Murray River Locks, Weirs, Dams and Barrages Lake Victoria Barrages Dartmouth Reservoir Hume Weir


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