The flood gates separating the Tidal Waterways and Town Centre Marina from Patterson River are designed to protect the area’s 1,400 residents, their properties and local roads. There are a total of 4 sets of gates - two sets at Whalers Cove, one at Runaway Bay and one at Town Centre. The tidal gates are open at normal low flow/low tide periods so boats can access the river, but closed when flows or tide levels are high.
Please note: Predicted high tide is in Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST). During Daylight Savings period add one hour to the predicted high tide.
We constantly monitor the water levels in the Patterson River, and only close the gates when water levels in the Patterson River reach 0.60-0.65m Australian Height Datum (AHD), or when required for maintenance and testing of remote gate operations.
The tidal gates are open at normal low flow times so boats can access the river, but closed when flows are high. As the responsible drainage authority, Melbourne Water has the right to close the gates any time at our sole discretion.
Cleaning, inspection and maintenance dates
Every three months we schedule maintenance to clean and dredge the tidal gates at Whalers Cove, Runaway Bay and the town centre. While this occurs, these areas are only publicly accessible between 12pm and 12.30am.
Additionally, every five years, corrosion protection works on the tidal gates are required. For more information see Patterson Lakes Tidal Gates corrosion protection works.
Predicting gate closures
We are investigating ways to notify people when the gates close, but this is difficult to predict. The weather can suddenly change, meaning we may quickly need to close the gates at any time of the day or night.
To avoid getting locked in or out by the gates, we encourage you to check the weather and tide times before sailing and check the water level on the marker at the gates. This can help you assess if the gates are likely to close soon.
Deciding to close the gates
A number of factors can raise water levels and make gate closures more likely, including:
rainfall – increases the amount of water entering Dandenong Creek and Patterson River
strong westerly winds – push tides from the bay into Patterson River
high tides – high astronomical tides when combined with rainfall and westerly winds, but generally not on their own.