Following Brownhills Past supremo David Fellows’ request for information about the long-gone pumphouse near the Nine Foot pool at Chasewater, the reader response was muted, to say the least. After a grand total of zero replies, Graham Evans, wildlife expert, human dynamo behind the Chasewater Wildlife Group and top authority on Chasewater History has stepped into the breech with a remarkable posting on the Chasewater Wildlife Group’s news page. I won’t reproduce this fascinating piece here, as I wouldn’t want to deny Graham traffic, so please click on the screenshot below to see the original article.
While you’re there, read that couple of entries beneath it, too. As usual, there’s some excellently candid opinion – as usual from Chasewater Wildlife Group – on the dam works. I have only one thing to add, though; can we please stop talking about the plug going back in? The outlet culvert is currently sealed behind a cofferdam, so no water can drain unless it’s pumped. The contractors are building a vertical chamber around the culvert to prevent it silting, and to make cleaning and inspection easier. This will probably be level with, or above the current waterline. There should be no reason – other than perhaps minimal flushing – to open the drain any more. The work on the dam itself is clearly nearly complete, and since nobody in Brownhills is currently called Noah nor building an ark (to the best of my knowledge), I think we can assume that the spillway won’t be required to see service for a good few months, if not years, yet. The plug is therefore, back in, to all intents and purposes.
Graham rightly points out that what we need now is the tap turning on. However, since the swag is already pumped low and a way of being full, and conditions are so dry, I wouldn’t polish your waterskis just yet. To be perfectly honest, after passing Blithfield Reservoir yesterday, I’m very concerned – it too, seems to be at a very low level. This has been one hell of a dry year. If we don’t get rain soon, I think we could be in for considerable problems, and not just at Chasewater.