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Best Practice For Sediment Management for Reservoirs and River Impoundments

A collaborative, UKWIR project, has just started that will be of great interest to reservoir owners, operators and Panel Engineers.

Dams form a barrier to sediment continuity and under the Water Framework Directive reservoirs are considered as "heavily modified water bodies".

The project is being funded and managed by UK Water Industry Research Ltd. (UKWIR).

A project scoping meeting was held in London on 9th September and was attended by representatives from most English, Welsh and Scottish water companies and regulators.  The project plans to include Northern Ireland representatives and outcomes will be applicable well beyond the Water Industry.

As the sole reservoir engineer present at the scoping meeting, I made clear our concerns over the need to be able to routinely operate scour valves.  There was consensus around the room that this was a national problem both from a consenting and operational perspective and I am encouraged to report that it will be addressed through the project as well.

The forum included several case studies. A lot of good work has already been achieved on sediment management and clearance particularly by United Utilities. During his presentation, Matt Buckley (UU), did stress that up to 5 years communication, consultation and negotiations had preceded some UU de-silting schemes.

Understandably siltation problems differ between upland and lowland catchments and these will both be addressed through the project.

I plan to provide a further update once the project scope and programme are fully defined.

In the interim if you wish to engage further with the project please contact Neil Whiter the UKWIR Project Manager at: neilwhiter@hotmail.com.


Ian Hope

Severn Trent Water

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