From Dambusters to Damsavers ….

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
I’m sure Sir Robert Mark and Sir Arthur Young would have been relieved to see that the proud traditions of their fine service are in safe hands.:roll:
Theres a pair of fine names from the past
Sir Robert was a Normandy Veteran, a proper leader of men, and unlikely to be bothered or even swayed by political opions and ideas
and Sir Arthur likewise but in Africa and Italy
 
I make no apologies for nicking this from FB:
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RAF Banter & Bollocks what
 
I would not like to have a mortgage the (rather bonnie) houses in the direct path of this dam, especially those a couple of minutes walk to it's base.
People have long memories, and mud sticks...especially thousands of tons of it in the public's imagination.
I've a feeling a tsunami;) of negative equity will emerge.
How many of us would now buy there?
 
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By golly , they've done it ! Air Force Crosses all round and jolly well done !

 
I would not like to have a mortgage the (rather bonnie) houses in the direct path of this dam, especially those a couple of minutes walk to it's base.
People have long memories, and mud sticks...especially thousands of tons of it in the public's imagination.
I've a feeling a tsunami;) of negative equity will emerge.
How many of us would now buy there?

You can almost hear the conversations in the insurance companys board rooms..........................." Right gentlemen, the Whaley bridge housing stock, The dam being of Victorian construction, does not conform to modern building specifications, therefore to maximise our profits, and remove any future payments , when the dam finally collapses, I put to the board the follong recommendations:-

1) All policy's held by this company be deemed null and void, and any over payment be returned to the policy holder.
2) no more policy's to be underwritten by this company on any property domestic or commercial in Whaley bridge.
3) All policy's be deemed null and void on all vehicles registered in Whaley bridge domestic, commercial, and agricultural. All overpayments to be returned to the policy holder.
£) All repaid payments to policy holders in respect of housing stock and vehicles, will be subject to a 30% handling fee, +VAT. deducted from the total payment.

All those say I,.................... thank you gentlemen, motion carried!
 
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and any over payment be returned to the policy holder.
After an appropriate administration fee has been deducted presumably. Changing or cancelling insurance policies is not without significant cost you know.

One suspects a bit of the 'Gatwick Drone Fiasco' took over and blew the events here grossly out of proportion. Once death and destruction on an epic scale had been announced there was no way back from it until the reservoir had been near emptied. The dam was never going to breach before effective repairs could be made. Good old BBC news even managed to refer to the 'ruptured' dam briefly before somebody presumably pointed out that the dam had in fact held fast.

How much are repairs going to cost now that a zillion tons of aggregate and concrete have been dumped on the dam as a temporary measure?
 
You can almost hear the conversations in the insurance companys board rooms..........................." Right gentlemen, the Whaley bridge housing stock, The dam being of Victorian construction, does not conform to modern building specifications, therefore to maximise our profits, and remove any future payments , when the dam finally collapses, I put to the board the follong recommendations:-

1) All policy's held by this company be deemed null and void, and any over payment be returned to the policy holder.
2) no more policy's to be underwritten by this company on any property domestic or commercial in Whaley bridge.
3) All policy's be deemed null and void on all vehicles registered in Whaley bridge domestic, commercial, and agricultural. All overpayments to be returned to the policy holder.
£) All repaid payments to policy holders in respect of housing stock and vehicles, will be subject to a 30% handling fee, +VAT. deducted from the total payment.

All those say I,.................... thank you gentlemen, motion carried!
I suspect that it will be the Canal & Rivers Trust's insurers who will be looking for the fine detail in the policy and the design specification.

Namely, why was the water level allowed to rise so high? AIUI, theres a spillway at the the entry to the lake that is intended to prevent the lake from filling.

It's an earth dam, so it's susceptible to erosion and damage if water overtops the dam. The concrete cladding (apparently only put in place in the 60s) looks to be intended to protect against rainwater erosion, not overtopping.

C&RT seem to discover features of the dam by accident - evidently there was/is a culvert that runs under the dam. What was it's purpose? Was it restored/maintained?

The lake isn't a (drinking water) reservoir, it's only to top up the nearby canal. How much water is actually needed? Why isn't there an automatic device that limits the height of the lake to this capacity? Perhaps critically, with the demise of canals as a means of haulage, is the dam needed at all?

I suspect they'll also be looking at who instructed the placement of the bags of gravel. I suspect that they'll have to be removed in order to undertake a permanent repair - very likely by helicopter, and a more hazardous operation than dropping them. Once the water level was reduced to below the top of the clay core and therefore the risk of scour was avoided, did the gravel bags serve any purpose?

This could be very expensive for C&RT.
 
Perhaps critically, with the demise of canals as a means of haulage, is the dam needed at all?
While you may be correct that commercial carrying no longer takes place to any great extent on the waterways system, leisure boating and residential usage have never been as popular. Such use is a significant direct, as well as an indirect generator, of income to local economies.

Such is their popularity, some long defunct waterways have been recovered and brought back into use and this process is continuing.
 
Now most of the water is out of the dam, will the local area suffer from low pressure or water shortages?
As I'm hoping they do and start complaining about it only to me reminded they could have got 4 Million liters of it in one go if they had been lucky/unlucky!
 
I suspect that it will be the Canal & Rivers Trust's insurers who will be looking for the fine detail in the policy and the design specification.

Namely, why was the water level allowed to rise so high? AIUI, theres a spillway at the the entry to the lake that is intended to prevent the lake from filling.

It's an earth dam, so it's susceptible to erosion and damage if water overtops the dam. The concrete cladding (apparently only put in place in the 60s) looks to be intended to protect against rainwater erosion, not overtopping.

C&RT seem to discover features of the dam by accident - evidently there was/is a culvert that runs under the dam. What was it's purpose? Was it restored/maintained?

The lake isn't a (drinking water) reservoir, it's only to top up the nearby canal. How much water is actually needed? Why isn't there an automatic device that limits the height of the lake to this capacity? Perhaps critically, with the demise of canals as a means of haulage, is the dam needed at all?

I suspect they'll also be looking at who instructed the placement of the bags of gravel. I suspect that they'll have to be removed in order to undertake a permanent repair - very likely by helicopter, and a more hazardous operation than dropping them. Once the water level was reduced to below the top of the clay core and therefore the risk of scour was avoided, did the gravel bags serve any purpose?

This could be very expensive for C&RT.
The dam comprises two run-offs.

There is a normal "overflow" which channels the river water normal flow off round the side of the dam and into the river Goyt.

The damage caused was to the spillway which is a large overflow which runs down the front face of the dam and is designed to cope with large flows e.g. from high rainfall upstream of the dam. The spillway is normally dry.

The damage was caused when the water got underneath part of the spillway and washed away some of the supporting earth causing the spillway to collapse.

The normal route is marked "Todd Brook". The spillway is clearly visible as dry on google earth,
1565280113855.png

It is clearer on the map which however, doesn't show the spillway:
1565280165695.png
 
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While you may be correct that commercial carrying no longer takes place to any great extent on the waterways system, leisure boating and residential usage have never been as popular. Such use is a significant direct, as well as an indirect generator, of income to local economies.

Such is their popularity, some long defunct waterways have been recovered and brought back into use and this process is continuing.
Yes, but with the absence of commercial traffic, there's significantly less lock usage and, consequently, less water required to maintain the water level in the canal. It seems likely that the level of water achieves the depth it has, not because it's needed but merely because C&RT haven't thought to get rid of it.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
Now most of the water is out of the dam, will the local area suffer from low pressure or water shortages?
As I'm hoping they do and start complaining about it only to me reminded they could have got 4 Million liters of it in one go if they had been lucky/unlucky!
I hope they dont have a big fire and need water !!
 
Now most of the water is out of the dam, will the local area suffer from low pressure or water shortages?
As I'm hoping they do and start complaining about it only to me reminded they could have got 4 Million liters of it in one go if they had been lucky/unlucky!
Unlikely. The water apparently isn't linked to the drinking water supply network.
 
The damage caused was to the spillway which is a large overflow which runs down the front face of the dam and is designed to cope with large flows e.g. from high rainfall upstream of the dam. The spillway is normally dry.

The damage was caused when the water got underneath part of the spillway and washed away some of the supporting earth causing the spillway to collapse.
My question is whether it really was designed to cope with large flows. Looking at the photos of the damage, it seems more like protection against rainwater erosion (or beautification) than something capable of protecting against fast-flowing water. The slabs look to be of negligible weight and don't seem to be tied in - cladding rather than a purposeful spillway.
 
Don’t forget that Canal and Rivers trust are a charitable trust, formed to take on the assets of British Waterways, which in turn took on the assets of the British Transport Commission, who took on both the canals and railways as part of Nationalisation.

So in other words, everyone gets to point the finger at (all together now) “decades of under investment and lack of maintenance by central government”
 
My question is whether it really was designed to cope with large flows. Looking at the photos of the damage, it seems more like protection against rainwater erosion (or beautification) than something capable of protecting against fast-flowing water. The slabs look to be of negligible weight and don't seem to be tied in - cladding rather than a purposeful spillway.
It was designed for large flows.
That's what the spillway is for. Has worked fine since it was built
The issue was that the spillway was not properly inspected or maintained as, I believe, will come out in due course.
1565285242848.png

1565285297356.png

Toddbrook Reservoir - Wikipedia
 
..............................The lake isn't a (drinking water) reservoir, it's only to top up the nearby canal. How much water is actually needed? Why isn't there an automatic device that limits the height of the lake to this capacity? Perhaps critically, with the demise of canals as a means of haulage, is the dam needed at all?.................................This could be very expensive for C&RT.
Yes, but with the absence of commercial traffic, there's significantly less lock usage and, consequently, less water required to maintain the water level in the canal. It seems likely that the level of water achieves the depth it has, not because it's needed but merely because C&RT haven't thought to get rid of it.
If the local canal (Peak Forest) is anything like ours, the gates on the locks will leak like a sieve due to lack of maintenance. All it takes is for something (tree branch/ old fridge) to prevent the gates closing properly and the water just drains away at quite a rate and before you know it, boats are sitting on the bottom of the cut.

It's claimed that there are more narrow boats on the canal system than there were during the industrial revolution so water levels need to be maintained,
and whilst there isn't a great amount of freight haulage, the leisure/house boat/moorings side of things is a great revenue earner for C&RT. The rules on boat fees have been changed in recent years; previously self-propelled boats (canoes, rubber dinghys etc) were exempt from fees, now they're not and anything that floats on a canal has to be registered and fees paid accordingly.

As for the competency of C&RT's engineers to do a good repair job at Whaley Bridge, based on my contact with them on the project the society to which I belong, is working on, I couldn't possibly comment.

It will be an expensive job to repair that dam, I expect canal users will feel that impact.
 

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