Melville Emplacement Area Surface Water Design

Client Name
Whitehaven Coal
Gunnedah, New South Wales, Australia
  • Hydrology
  • Hydrogeology


The site is located approximately 7km southwest of Gunnedah and was utilised as an emplacement facility for waste materials produced as part of the coal processing operations conducted at the nearby coal handling and preparation plant site.

SLR were engaged to prepare a detailed design to provide appropriate surface water conveyance structures and controls to manage runoff from the capped waste (tailings and rejects) emplacement area. The design was to be in accordance with the relevant legislation, policies and guidelines and water quality / quantity data and, objectives for local and regional catchments.


Our role included:

  • Understanding the issues to be addressed including liaison with Whitehaven representatives of the site’s constraints/limitations and any potential improvement the site may want to pursue.
  • Preparation of a preliminary design of water management structures.
  • Development of hydrologic and hydraulic model using XP-RAFTS to route flows through the conveyance structures.
  • Preparation of detailed design drawings of the proposed water management structures as well as accompanying construction notes to facilitate their construction.
  • Construction cost estimate for the proposed water management upgrade.
  • Preparation of a report outlining design criteria, methodology, modelling/calculations, design drawings, and cost estimate for the proposed works.


Our team provided cost effective detailed design of surface water management structures to manage surface water runoff from the capped waste emplacement area The surface water management design will be used as a benchmark for the management of surface water runoff from other Whitehaven owned waste emplacement areas.