Vyrnwy Aqueduct

We recently had a presentation by the Vyrnwy team and a graphic will be included in the forthcoming ‘Courier’ (in your letter box next week. However, they have asked us to post this update.

This Just arrived:

United Utilities Vyrnwy Aqueduct Modernisation Programme

Introduction for Parish information

Lake Vyrnwy

Lake Vyrnwy is a reservoir created in the 1880s by Liverpool Corporation Water Works to help supply the growing city. Costing approximately £620,000 to construct (equivalent to over £70 million today), it was created by building a dam across the Afon Vyrnwy valley which submerged the village of Llanwyddn.

The impressive dam wall spans over 350 metres in length and is nearly 44 metres high. When the reservoir is full it’s around 26 metres deep.

Vyrnwy aqueduct system

The Vyrnwy aqueduct system comprises of three parallel 1 metre diameter pipelines that were built in phases:

  • Line 1 cast iron constructed between 1881–1892
  • Line 2 cast iron constructed between 1902-1905
  • Line 3 steel constructed between 1926-1938

When completed, it was the longest aqueduct in the world. Since officially opening on 14th July 1892 it’s had additional pipework sections added and refurbishment carried out. 

Untreated water from the lake flows by gravity to Oswestry where it is treated. The treated water from Oswestry is then transported to the storage reservoirs at Prescot via these huge underground pipes, passing through several tunnel sections, including underneath the River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal.

The Victorian engineers

James Newlands became Liverpool and Britain’s first Borough Engineer in 1847. He developed the world’s earliest sewerage system in Liverpool. 

Newlands was instrumental in achieving an improvement in public health and the average life expectancy, which was just 19 in 1847, doubled during his years in office.

In 1879 when it was decided to build a dam at Vyrnwy in North Wales.  George Deacon, water engineer to Liverpool jointly with Thomas Hawksley, designed the Lake Vyrnwy scheme to supply Liverpool’s drinking water. Homes and businesses in Merseyside, Cheshire and the wider North West are still to this day supplied with water from Lake Vyrnwy.

The Vyrnwy Aqueduct Modernisation Programme

Over time, a build-up of minerals can settle within aqueduct pipelines. These minerals don’t pose any health risks but can result in discoloration of the water if disturbed.

Between 2010 and 2015, United Utilities began a comprehensive programme of refurbishing a section of the Vyrnwy Aqueduct pipes. 40 per cent of the pipe has already been refurbished and the remaining length from Malpas through to Merseyside will be completed between now and 2028.

In Spring 2023 work will begin to clean and reline the section between Malpas and Tarporley and to clean the section between Tarporley and Norton.

This November, United Utilities launched their Virtual Exhibition for the Tarporley to Norton section. The virtual exhibition provides information on the why, how, where and when of what they need to do on the pipelines. With a combination of photographs, maps, text and videos along with a feedback facility, United Utilities want to ensure local residents understand what they are planning to do and receive comments from people in the communities they are working in that will help to shape their plans and make the work a success for everybody.

Hard copies of the online material can be requested from feedback@consultation-online.co.uk or by calling 0800 298 7040 . United Utilities will arrange for a pack to be posted out which will also include a feedback form and freepost envelope as a means to return.

More information can be found online at www.uuhub.co.uk/vyrnwy from which visitors can navigate to the Tarporley to Norton section. The website will be updated with more detail as the programme progresses and United Utilities will also be holding public drop in sessions early in 2023 where their team will be on hand to discuss the work and answer questions.

If you have any immediate or urgent questions for United Utilities and would like them to respond to directly you can call 0345 672 3723 quoting the project reference 80063071.

QR code below will direct to the above web address

The Vyrnwy Aqueduct system supplies fresh drinking water to homes and businesses in Cheshire and Merseyside. It consists of three parallel pipelines, each 42 inches in diameter, with the first of the pipelines installed back in the 1880’s. Recently we refurbished a large proportion of the aqueduct from Oswestry up to Malpas and are now looking to complete the remaining sections by 2028.

Tarporley to Norton section

Next year we plan to begin work on the section between Tarporley and Norton, through Cotebrook, Delamere, Hatchmere, Kingsley, Aston and Runcorn. To do this important work we’ll need to set up multiple working areas along the route of the aqueduct and in some areas there will be road works and an increase in construction vehicles using local roads.

To share our plans we have launched a Virtual Exhibition at www.uuhub.co.uk/Vyrnwy/Tarporley-to-Norton that contains details on our work including maps of the locations we’ll be working. We are inviting feedback to help us to develop our plans ahead of the work starting next spring through an online feedback form at  www.uuhub.co.uk/vyrnwy/tarporley-norton-feedback/.

Hard copies of the online material can be requested from feedback@consultation-online.co.uk or by calling 0800 298 7040 . We’ll arrange for a pack to be posted out which will also include a feedback form and freepost envelope as a means to return.

Next steps

We’ll be reviewing all the feedback we receive and ahead of the cleaning work starting in the spring we’ll have a number of public drop in sessions where people can come to view the latest plans and meet with members of our project team.

VAMP Stakeholder Relations

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