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Work began on the Lawson Syphon in 1939, stopped during the war years and was completed in 1955.

From the head in the Mulwala Canal (from Lake Mulwala) the water flows down a steep gradient, through segmented gates and into the syphon consisting of two 3-metre internal diameter concrete pipes laid side by side 2 m under the bed of the Edward River.

The water first flows through the syphon for 760m under the river and billabongs, surfaces for approximately 1000m, and then re-enters the syphon for a distance of 150m under the Aljoes Creek, from where it re-surfaces into a open channel which services the Deniboota Irrigation Area.

The syphon is designed for a total flow of 1000 cubic feet of water per second, or 540 million gallons per day.

The syphon is approximately 6 km south-east from Deniliquin, and is best seen during the irrigation season, as in winter months the channel is sometimes empty.


Destinations to explore near

Lawson Syphon

DeniliquinPhotos Courtesy Scott Westlake Photography

Distance & direction from Sydney: 726 Klms SW

Lawson Syphon Road, Deniliquin

Lawson Syphon

Historic Construction, New South Wales

Construction Details

Work commenced: August 1939

Officially commissioned: April 27, 1955


Lawson Syphons: 2,300 feet long under

Edward River and adjacent billabongs

Aljoes Creek Syphons: 450 feet long under Aljoes Creek

Total length of syphons: 5,500 feet (barrels and transitions)

Internal diameter of syphons: 12 feet

Thickness of syphon barrel: 15 inches

Length of clay lined channel: 3,611 feet (between syphons)

Maximum head on syphons: 60 feet

Flow capacity: 1000 cusecs or 540 million gallons a day


Quantity in syphons: 22,000 cubic yards

Quantity in structures: 9,000 cubic yards


Weight in syphons: 39,000 tons

Weight in structures: 17,000 tons

Reinforcement of syphons & structures: 1,000 tons

Excavation for syphon trenches: 140,000 cubic yards


Steel sheet piling driven trenches: 130,000 feet

Steel sheet piling driven coffer dam: 74,000 feet

Timber piling, driven: 12,000 feet.

Timbering, total: 33,000 cubic feet

Aerial view of Lawson's Siphon c1965