A team of reservoir experts and representatives from Lichfield District Council opened the valves at Chasewater reservoir today.
Now that the valves are open, around billion gallons of water will drain out of the reservoir over the next few months, which will allow essential safety improvements to take place
The water will flow into the Anglesey Branch Canal and then into Crane Brook – which will join the River Tame in Fazeley.
Visitors to Chasewater will notice that the reservoir’s water level will drop dramatically over the coming months. As the water level goes down, it will expose the muddy reservoir bed, which visitors are being warned not to go near for fear of soft, deep mud and silt.
This is why the district council is putting up temporary information panels across Chasewater. These will warn about the dangers, explain what the works involve, and how long they are expected to take.
While the works take place, visitors are asked to:
â€¢ stay on marked footpaths
â€¢ keep children and dogs under close supervision, away from the reservoir bed
â€¢ not walk on the exposed reservoir bed at any time
Councillor Val Richards, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure Services, said: Opening the valves to drain the reservoir signifies the start of a major programme of safety improvements. Getting to this stage is the culmination of a lot of hard work, and it is good to finally get started on these works as it is essential that we make sure the dam meets current safety standards, making it safe for years to come.
It is very important that visitors follow our safety advice. However, I would like to stress that Chasewater Country Park will be open as usual. Visitors can still enjoy the surrounding countryside and facilities, including the heritage railway and Innovation Centre.
The reservoir is being drained in preparation for a major programme of safety improvements to Chasewater’s eastern dam. These works will make sure the dam remains safe for years to come. The works cannot begin until the water level has been lowered. The works will take around seven months to complete and should be finished by the end of the year. The council expects to start refilling the reservoir in September. However, it could take between two and four years to refill it to its normal level, as it will depend upon rainfall levels and the amount of water the local canal network needs.
I would like to extend our gratitude to the clubs that use Chasewater reservoir for their understanding and patience during these works, continued Cllr Richards.