Farnley Reservoir Safety Measures & Maintenance

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Farnley Balancing Reservoir was built in 1973.

This location is of a main importance to the local area as this reservoir prevents the local area from flooding.

I've being in constant contact with Yorkshire Water & Leeds City Council over the past Three years regarding the safety & condition of this reservoir. Small amount of work has already being achieved 

Leeds City Council (LCC) has installed fences around the affected open areas. Along with warning signs around the perimeter.

Yorkshire Water have also installed warning signs around the perimeter. They've also completed three small scale clean ups of the reservoir. 

People who support this campaign.

Farnley & Wortley Councillor- Matt Gibson & Andrea McKenna 

The scheme was conceived as a means of controlling the effects of flooding within the Wortley area of Leeds, and is a cheaper alternative than considerably increasing both the size and extent of beck culverting works in this area.
The function of the reservoir is to store floodwaters temporarily in Farnley Beck, (whose catchment area extends to Bradford, Pudsey and Morley) and to regulate the flow passing forward down the valley. It is not a water supply reservoir and has been constructed under the powers vested in the Corporation by the Public Health Act 1936, to provide for the satisfactory drainage of development in its area.
The flow from the lake is controlled by the provision of 16 rectangular openings in the dam, which restrict the amount of water. Which can pass along the Farnley Beck to the quantity which the beck can safely accommodate.
In storm times, as the quantity of water entering the lake increases, the level in the lake commences to rise and the outflow increases until the maximum flow has been reached when the level in the lake will continue to rise, thus providing storage for the excess water.
After the storm, water continues to pass through the openings and the lake slowly returns to its original level when the quantities of water entering and leaving the lake will be the same.
Although the scheme was promoted by the Main Drainage Division of the City Engineer’s Department, the dam and ancillary works have been designed under the supervision of the General- Manager and Engineer to Leeds Corporation Waterworks, Mr. J. R. Roberts, B.Sc.(Eng.), C.Eng., F.1.C.E., F.I.W.E., M.B.I.M., who is a member of the Department of the Environment Panel 1 of Civil Engineers, empowered under the Reservoirs (Safety Provisions) Act, 1930, to be responsible for the design and construction of such dams.
Amenity Provisions:
Whilst the lake is necessary as a flood relief measure, the opportunity presented has been used to create a visual amenity and the basis of an appreciable recreational facility has also been provided. Activities such as rowing, canoeing and small dinghy sailing are being considered, but no decision will be taken for at least 12-24 months, in order that the performance of the lake under operating conditions may be studied.
The area around the reservoir has been landscaped with the advice of the Director of Parks and a public open space created with footpaths around the lake and across the top of the dam. Two footbridges have also been constructed.
Excavated material from the reservoir basin has been used to create a series of terraced playing fields at the junction of Tong Road and Butt Lane, and these will be a further social and recreational facility resulting from the scheme.

 Public Safety:
Considerable thought was given to safety measures that could be built-in during the construction of the scheme. The Council’s Accident Prevention Sub-Committee considered suggestions, which they approved in their entirety and the matter was subsequently reported and commented upon in the local press.
The following summary gives a guide to the measures adopted:
(i) The dam and associated works have been designed and constructed in accordance with the Reservoirs (Safety Provisions) Act, 1930.
(ii) The banks to the lake have been overlaid with Mono BG slabs which are hollow and cellular in form and have three main advantages.
1. Resistance to erosion.
2. The hollow parts of the slab can be filled with soil and seeded to give an illusion of a grassed bank.
3. Any person falling into the lake can easily climb out using the castellation's on the slabs.
(iii) The footpath around the lake has been kept as far away from the bank tops as possible. It is hoped to plant a dwarf hedge on the side nearest the lake in the near future.
(iv) The walkway across the top of the dam, together with the inlet cascade and footbridge across the access cutting to the lake, have all been provided with mild steel balustrading. Although the dam crest will be utilised as an emergency weir under severe flood conditions, the lower rail of the balustrading has been fixed so as to give only 6 inches of clearance above the concrete upstand, in order to preclude the possibility of small children getting underneath. The balustrading is 3’ 3" high and fixed on to a 4" high concrete upstand.
(v) While appreciating the practical limitations of its installation, a 4 ft. high concrete palisade fence has been erected round the perimeter the spillway area.
(vi) Lifebuoys have been provided at strategic points on the footpath around the lake.
(vii) The following parties have been consulted, or informed at some stage regarding safety aspects of the scheme.
1. Leeds Corporation Accident Prevention Sub-Committee.
2. Leeds Corporation Plans Sub-Committee during application for Planning Permission.
3. R.O.S.P.A.
4. H.M. Factory Inspectorate.
5. Leeds City Police Accident Prevention Division. 
6. The Town Clerk.
7. The Chief Public Health Inspector.
8. The Pollution Prevention Officer, Yorkshire River Authority. 

Facts and Figures:
1. The dam is 589 ft. long and 11 ft. 6 ins, high, with a 6 ft. 6 ins, wide double cantilever footpath on top.
2. The residual lake is 15.7 acres in area.
3. In dry weather, the lake is 2 ft. 6 ins, deep at the banks and 3 ft. 3 ins, in the centre.
4. The overall depth to which the water will rise depends upon the intensity and frequency of storm involved, but the following will serve as a guide:
Frequency Max. Depth Once in two years 7’ 6" Once in five years 9’ 0" Once in ten years 10’ 6" Once in fifteen years 11’ 9" (full)
It is emphasised that these are maximum or peak depths, and the water level should be back to its normal level some 8 hours after it begins to rise. The lake will generally take about 2 1/2 hours to reach its maximum depth. The data regarding depths etc. assumes that there are no immediately subsequent storms, or periods of prolonged heavy rain.
5. The quantity of water in the lake will be as follows: In dry weather — 12.7 million gallons Once in 5 years — 35.2 million gallons Once in 15 years — 47.1 million gallons (full)
6. The dam has been designed to allow water to flood over the top with safety, though this should only happen once every 15 or 20 years.
7. Approximately 406,400 tons of material have been excavated during the construction of the reservoir, the majority of which has been carted to form the playing fields referred to previously.
8. The area draining to the lake is 6955 acres.
9. The anticipated cost of the project is as follows:
Site Investigation 1,405 Legal and Land Costs 6,725 Construction Costs 373,566 Engineers Fees 5,604 Site Supervision 7,200 Proposed Monitoring System 7,500
The scheme has been constructed by Messrs. Tarmac Construction Ltd., South Yorkshire Area, Leeds Sector, and work commenced on the 3rd January, 1972. The lake was permanently  filled over the period 3rd — 5th August, 1973, and the reservoir has been affectively operational since that time.

 My main concern of this reservoir are.

* The height of the fall or jump

* The depth of the water - this changes and is unpredictable

* Submerged objects may not be visible

* Lack of safety equipment and increased difficulty for rescue

*  Uneven paths ( tree roots)

People I've contacted about this are

Yorkshire Water, Leeds City Council, WestYorkshire Fire & Rescue Service & my local MP Rachael Reeves.

Public safety is PARAMOUNT 

PROTECT our children




I'm not asking for much. Just to secure this reservoir.

Further information provided from RLSS- ROYAL LIFE SAVING SOCIETY.

Around 85% of accidental drownings occur at open water sites. Many of theses drownings occur due to lack of knowledge and understanding of open water safety. 

Around 400 people needlessly drown in the UK every year 50 are known to be children & thousand more suffer Injury's some life changing.

One person dies every 20hours in the UK. Drowning is also the third highest cause of accidental death of children in the UK.

Summer Water Safety advice from WYFRS

This petition isn't just aimed around winter. This is aimed all year round.


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