The Environment Agency has announced that it has undertaken structural repair work on Branston Island Flood reservoir, seven miles south-east of Lincoln, that protects over 7,000 homes and businesses from flooding.
The work, which took 11 weeks to complete, involved concrete and mechanical repairs to sluices controlling the flow of water in and out of the reservoir, as well as repairing the banks and bank tops.
Together with the Rivers Till and Witham reservoirs, the three can hold more than 11 million cubic metres of water, which is the equivalent of 440 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Asset performance team leader with the agency Paul Dutchburn had this to say about the project: “We carry out regular checks, tests and repairs that ensure our defences can continue to reduce flood risk to homes and businesses – and that includes carrying out maintenance like this on our reservoirs.
Across the country, we’re investing over £200 million this year to maintain our flood defences so they continue to help protect our communities.”
Built back in the 60s, Branston Island reservoir forms part of a system of engineered channels and sluices managed by the Environment Agency that also includes Boultham catchwater, Sincil Dyke and the Great Gowts Drain to ensure that 7,200 properties are afforded better protection. The reservoir was last used to store water from the Witham during a bout of wet weather in the winter of 2012.
Of course, this isn’t the only work that the Environment Agency is prioritising at the moment. It has also begun work on its annual programme of investment on the locks of the River Thames, a scheme that will cost £2.1 million and aims to support commercial and recreational boating along a 135-mile stretch of river.
Major work is now being carried out at five of the 45 lock sites owned and operated by the agency, with the jobs expected to be completed by March this year so as to avoid peak boating months and help minimise disruption to anyone using the river.
Projects include Teddington Lock in Middlesex, where the concrete-lined lock chamber of the launch lock has had to be refurbished, at a cost of £450,000. Meanwhile, four new gates are required for Day’s Lock in Oxfordshire and Caversham Lock in Reading required work carried out on the concrete-lined lock chamber as well.
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