Whaley Bridge dam incident

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  • Emergency crews are racing to save a damaged reservoir, as "terrified" residents fear their Derbyshire town could be flooded.

    Water is being pumped out of the 300-million-gallon Toddbrook Reservoir and an RAF helicopter is dropping 400 tonnes of aggregate around it.

    Part of the dam wall collapsed on Thursday afternoon.

    About 1,500 people evacuated Whaley Bridge amid warnings they were in "mortal danger".

    A worrying situation for those people who were evacuated yesterday from that Derbyshire town.


    Looks like the RAF chinook are trying their best to save the damn, I certainly wouldn't fancy those pilot's jobs!


    Can the dam be saved?

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  • Can the dam be saved?

    So long as the lining on the inside stays in-tact it should be OK. Most of this earth dam only has an inner lining. The section that was damaged was actually the spillway for overflows. So long as the earth inner core remains fairly dry its integrity should hold.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • Done a little looking at the various earth dam constrctions, some have an impervious layer on the inner slope whereas others have an impervious core, often of clay, inside the earth embankment. The main aim of the constrction is to prevent the seepage of water through the earth as this will eventually cause failure.


    It's not obvious how this one is constructed.


    A ha!


    The dam construction comprises mainly boulder clay with sands and gravels. There is doubt about the existence of a puddle clay core even though it is shown on the original construction drawings. The dam is founded on fluvio-glacial sand and gravels, glacial till overlying a faulted sequence of mudstones, sandstones and shales of the Millstone Grit Series and Lower Coal Measures

    Makes interesting reading that remedial work was done on the core to improves it's water resistance in 1981.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • So it was known back then there was a problem...:rolleyes:


    These earth dams need to be replaced before they kill someone. Better still, rethink the whole idea of having dams in the first place.

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  • I think the issue here was not so much the earth dam but the design of the spillway: The diagonal wall seems to have concentrated the water flow and resulted in the damage to the concrete base. The rest of the earth dam that is just grass covered is undamaged.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • The Sheffield to Manchester railway line runs close to Whaley Bridge as it winds its way from the Hope Valley to New Mills or to Hazel Grove. Obviously, the line has been closed until further notice because of the situation at Whaley Bridge. Again, because of the situation at the Dam, Northern Rail are unable to offer alternative road transport and are advising passengers not to travel. At the best of times, it isn't the most reliable rail rail route. Add to that, road links across the Pennines spend much of the winter closed. The Woodhead Pass has been closed to traffic in both directions on Saturday because of a crash.


    Boris should, perhaps, take a look at improving transport infrastructure in the Manchester and Sheffield bottleneck before throwing money at speeding up the Manchester to Leeds rail link.

  • Is this a case of poorly maintain infrastructure where the fault lies with water companies not wanting to spend too much so that they have more money left to keep shareholders happy.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • Problem is Ron, all these old dams need replacing and if the water companies took all that on, they'd quickly go bust.

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  • Is this a case of poorly maintain infrastructure where the fault lies with water companies not wanting to spend too much so that they have more money left to keep shareholders happy.

    Apparently, Toddbrook Reservoir is a feeder reservoir for the Peak Forest Canal and is owned by the Canal & River Trust.

    So, in this case, is nothing to do with the water utility companies.

  • nothing to do with the water utility companies.

    Fair enough but still kept in a state of disrepair for many decades judging by the look of it, where does the buck stop for that.

    Problem is Ron, all these old dams need replacing and if the water companies took all that on, they'd quickly go bust.

    Well that seems to be an excuse trotted out by the water companies themselves take Thames Water for instance they have been using the excuse that they have a Victorian infrastructure to contend with ever since the water companies were privatised some 30 plus (probably longer) years ago, how long can they continue to use that as and excuse, does that mean they have done nothing to improve that system for all those years, if that is the case what have they been doing with all the money they get from their customers. ;):/

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • Apparently, Toddbrook Reservoir is a feeder reservoir for the Peak Forest Canal and is owned by the Canal & River Trust.

    Interesting. That certainly lets the water company off scott free then.


    Well that seems to be an excuse trotted out by the water companies themselves take Thames Water for instance they have been using the excuse that they have a Victorian infrastructure to contend with ever since the water companies were privatised some 30 plus (probably longer) years ago, how long can they continue to use that as and excuse, does that mean they have done nothing to improve that system for all those years, if that is the case what have they been doing with all the money they get from their customers. ;):/

    But think about it, if Thames Water digs up all of London's streets to replace the water pipes and sewage, how many billions would that cost and how long?


    If it costs a telecoms company hundreds of pounds per house to lay fibre cable down in streets, after they've dug a small trench to lay the cable in, to replace the sewage system would cost a fortune.


    About five years ago in my area, all the gas pipes got "renewed." The mess was terrible, but even still, the roads were not fully dug up to access the old gas pipes. The gas company dug a access hole at the front of each house, smashed the existing cast iron pipes and fed plastic pipes through them as the replacement, leaving the old cast iron pipes in situ You can't do that with sewage.

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  • Well when you consider how long the privatised water companies have had the inferstructre under their control and they still trot out the same excuses it does make you wonder what they do with the money customers pay besides line the pockets of the ceos and share holders, well it does me that's for sure, maybe I need to become a shareholder then I might not feel quite so cynical.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • What bothers me more Ron, is the fact that we handed over all our infrastructure at rock bottom prices to foreign companies, but anyway..


    Being a shareholder is good, but hold off buying them shares at the moment, we're in a little "situation" now with all the markets.

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  • Oh it's OK I have no real intention of becoming a shareholder in any of the corrupt companies that bagged themselves a cut price money spinner like those that robbed the UK of its assets with government help.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

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