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Ash, R; Heinrichs, P.
Parramatta Single Arch Dam - from 1856 and Still Going Strong
First International and Eighth Australian Engineering Heritage Conference 1996: Shaping Our Future; Proceedings
Institution of Engineers, Australia, Barton, Australian Capital Territory, 1996, pp. 9-20

Parramatta Dam, 17.5m high and constructed of ashlar masonry, was only the eleventh single arch dam built in the world since antiquity. It was completed in 1856 to meet the need for a 'wholesome' water supply for the rapidly expanding city of Parramatta. No documented evidence is available as to who actually designed the dam, however it is contemporaneous with Zola Dam, based on the thin cylinder formula, built in France in 1854. There is some evidence that the dam was originally designed by Captain Percy Simpson who was responsible for the construction of many other notable works in early NSW including high masonry retaining walls on the Great North Road. It is known that the dam was constructed by Randle who also built the railway line to Parramatta. Later the responsibility for the design of the dam was handed to E O Moriarty who would probably have had some formal knowledge of the thin cylinder formula The dam was raised in 1898 by Darley. This was the forerunner to a programme of construction of 12 new slender arch dams in NSW. Modern analysis and regular inspections of the dam indicate that it is capable of carrying loadings up to the Probable Maximum Flood, that it is in good condition and 'still going strong'.

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