Summit reservoirs still low

Published: Monday, 01 January 2018

THE restrictions on the summit pound of the Grand Union Canal are still in force with the three reservoirs still not having reached capacity.

Wilstone 1Jan19Muds flats still exposed

Notwithstanding the amount of rain. Howard, Our Man on the Summit tells us that Wilstone Reservoir still has its mud flats exposed which would be under water if the reservoir was full but though difficult to judge he believes it about eight feet down, that he remarks 'Over such a large area that's an awful lot of water!'

His photograph of Wilstone Reservoir taken yesterday (Sunday) shows the mud flats in the distance. His further photograph below of the overflow shows the level has some way to go before the reservoir is full.

Wilstone overflow1Jan19Restrictions still in force

The restrictions for passage through Marsworth Locks are still in force, with one boater telling us:

"I had a very interesting chat with the CaRT bod who was running water to fill the short pounds below the summit. Very helpful telling me that although the reservoir water levels are rising steadily capacity is still very low. He explained Wilstone Reservoir holds 485,000 million gallons when full.

"Currently [he was told]  there is less than 200,000 million. If pumping was continuous for two weeks the reservoir would be empty hence the need to keep restrictions in place."

Pumps are vulnerable

He was told that the pumps are vulnerable during low level pumping times as the inlet is near the bed of the reservoir and all sorts of crud are more likely to get picked up which damages the pumps.

However the CaRT man must have been misinformed as Wilstone holds nowhere near 485 million gallons, its capacity is 240 million gallons as is officially stated.