Pre-cast concrete used for Thames reservoirs
Pre-cast concrete storage tanks will be used to build two new underground water storage reservoirs in Reading. Thames Water is working in partnership with US engineering consultancy Black & Veatch on the scheme to supply water to people living in Earley and the surrounding area.
The pre-cast concrete storage tanks will be manufactured elsewhere and put together on site. They will hold 14.6Ml of water between them.
Andrew Popple, head of programme delivery for Thames Water said, “We recognise this area is surrounded on all sides by houses and a school, so we’ll be using pre-cast concrete columns and panels to build the tanks. This innovative technique will reduce the amount of noise and traffic, making construction quicker and safer.”
Construction is now underway and the tanks will be sited underneath the park in Elm Lane and next to the existing Earley reservoir. They will act as holding tanks on the water supply network, ensuring there is enough treated water in the right place for busy times of the day, such as first thing in the morning when people are using showers.
Thames says that the fully-covered tanks will provide drinking water for the growing population in the surrounding area over the next 30 years.
Popple continued, “As the population of Earley expands, the same needs to happen to our storage capacity. The original reservoir was built in the 1970s and the new reservoir tanks will help us meet the needs of the area now and in the future.
“The purpose of this reservoir is to safeguard the supply of high-quality tap water to everyone who needs it both now and in decades to come.”
Thames Water met with local residents during the design phase and listened to concerns about noise and disruption.
David Chopping, Earley ward councillor, said, “This reservoir should see the high quality of water maintained, even as demand increases. Wokingham Borough Council and Earley Town Council have been able to work with Thames Water to see that the environmental impact of this reservoir is minimised and that when the reservoir is completed that the environment will be returned to its original condition.
“We need improved services and this is the right way forward, with interested parties co-operating in a reasonable way.”
Popple added, “We’ve also taken a lot of care to make sure we help improve the park to make it a nice place to be once we’ve finished the 18-month project.”
Native British trees will be planted around the reservoir, alongside a wildflower meadow that will help to support local wildlife. The site provides treated water to Earley, Winnersh, Shinfield, Arborfield and areas to the north and west of Wokingham.
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