Secret underground reservoir in London revealed in all its glory
One of Thames Water's reservoirs - hidden under ancient woodland in London – was revealed in all its Victorian glory during work to maintain the standard of the company’s drinking water.
High Beech, an underground reservoir in the middle of Epping Forest, was built in 1887 and normally stores 10 million litres of treated water before it is pumped to the taps of 18,000 customers across the region.
At four metres deep and covering an area of 2,800 square metres, the arched Victorian structure was drained to allow engineers to carry out £100,000 worth of maintenance ahead of the festive period.
Diane Barlow, of Thames Water’s water production operational excellence team, said: “We take our responsibility in providing customers with the high-quality water supply they rightfully deserve very seriously, so we were determined to get it right first time. This work protects water supplies for now and future generations.
“The reservoir was in pretty good condition considering it’s more than 130 years old. The attention to detail and beautiful craftsmanship of the Victorians who built it never ceases to amaze us.”
With the main reservoir out of action, a reserve tank ensured supplies were maintained to customers, with teams working extended hours to ensure the project was completed as quickly as possible before Christmas.
Barlow added: “This was all with a view to keeping the outage as short as was practical, and therefore minimising any risk of customers going without water. As it turned out it was very successful with no customer impact. We’re learning from our successes to ensure the next reservoir inspection goes just as smoothly.”
Thames Water has approximately 320 service reservoirs and 520 individual cells on an inspection programme, as required by law, and typically inspects 60 cells per year. The company also tests its drinking water over 500,000 times every year, which helps to make it some of the highest quality in the world. The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) also carry out their own tests to make sure the water always meets industry regulations.
- Innovative stop log installed at Cambridgeshire pumping station Water control and fabrication firm ECS Engineering Services has recently completed the installation of one of the... Read More >
- NI Water's Castor Bay to Belfast Water Pipeline is underway Pipelaying on NI Water's £14M Castor Bay to Belfast Water Pipeline is well underway. The start of the project was marked... Read More >
- EA starts work on £6M Catterick flood defence scheme The Environment Agency (EA) has announced that construction of a new storage reservoir has started to protect Catterick... Read More >
- Rewarding excellence WWT content director Alec Peachey looks ahead to next year's Water Industry Awards. Read More >
- Refining water quality management As part of our Utility of the Future campaign, Nadine Buddoo looks at why maintaining water quality is a fundamental... Read More >
- Shifting the dial on drinking water challenges Ahead of WWT Drinking Water Quality Conference, Anglian Water's director of water services, Paul Valleley, provides the... Read More >
- Over-pressurisation: A serious risk for lime storage silos Hycontrol managing director Nigel Allen warns that many lime storage silos are disasters waiting to happen, and steps need... Read More >
- Why valve checks are an essential part of summer maintenance Fraser Higgins, Durapipe UK industrial product manager, explains why valves should not be overlooked as part of the summer... Read More >