I’ve been asked by more than a few people this week what’s going on with Chasewater Dam – in the last few weeks water levels have been lowered and traffic blocked from the dam road; crews and equipment have been working on apparent drainage works.
Not finding any mention via existing channels, yesterday I asked Staffordshire County Council via Twitter, as well as the official Chasewater twitter account what was happening.
I didn’t expect much as both accounts generally ignore requests they don’t like, and after a day of polite, persistent questioning and requests for a press release, very little was forthcoming.
Images of current dam works kindly supplied by Andy Dennis
I was therefore amused this afternoon to note a release had subsequently been prepared and sent to fellow local site Lichfield Live, but not me, who requested it. Fit of pique much? Ah well, at least they didn’t communicate this time via badly formatted, off-message flyers nailed to trees…
Anyway, it seems work is ongoing to sort some minor drainage issues with the dam, prior to the next safety inspection. It’s unclear what prompted the work, but with such an experimental project, a certain amount of tinkering is to be expected I guess.
Here’s the article from Lichfield Live which can be read on their site here.
Engineers to lower levels in Chasewater reservoir during dam maintenance work
The water level in Chasewater reservoir is set to drop as maintenance work takes place on the dam wall.
Staffordshire County Council says the clay, earth and stone structure needs to have its drainage improved.
Cllr Mark Winnington said the work would see new drains installed, silt cleared from existing ones and more stone added.
“Chasewater is one of Staffordshire’s most popular attractions and that is why we have made considerable investments there in recent years,” he said. “The design and nature of the dam wall means that it needs ongoing monitoring and care.
“We’ll be working on it for the next few weeks and passers-by will notice we’ve lowered the water to summer levels and closed the wall-top to traffic to help.”
The county council has been responsible for the 200-year-old dam since it took over a £5.5million repair project in May 2011 from Lichfield District Council.