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Wave wall fortifies flood defences

11 November 2009

A concrete wall is being constructed around a reservoir near Bridgwater to prevent localised flooding during an extreme storm.

Ashford reservoir concrete wallConstruction work is taking place at Ashford reservoir, in Cannington, to remove existing banks and build a new flood defence.

It follows a study by Wessex Water that revealed during an extreme storm waves could develop at the reservoir which would be powerful enough to spill over the site’s earth banks and potentially flood the local area.

Scott Hughes, Wessex Water’s project manager for the scheme, said: “It is predicted that in the future the UK will increasingly face extreme weather. We were concerned that a wave of water could erode away earth banks at Ashford reservoir posing a flooding risk.”

The new wall, which will be made up of 195 large concrete sections each weighing one tonne, is capable of holding back 45,000,000 litres (45 megalitres) of water.

Sections of the wall are now being lowered into place and pieced together using a 50-tonne crane. The final stages of the construction project will involve grass panels being added to the wall so it blends in with local surroundings.

Ashford reservoir concrete wall 2All the construction work will be completed by Wessex Water’s in-house construction arm, Wessex Engineering and Construction Services (WECS).

Mr Hughes added: “By creating a stronger, taller wave wall, Bridgwater will be better prepared for the challenges posed by climate change.”

Ashford reservoir is used to supply water to Bridgwater and the surrounding area. Major construction work took place at the site in the 1990s when almost £10 million was invested in modernising the treatment works.

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