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King George VI Reservoir
Staines, Surrey, UK
associated engineer
Not known
date  August 1937 - 7th November 1947
era  Modern  |  category  Dam/Reservoir  |  reference  TQ040735
ICE reference number  HEW 2225
King George VI Reservoir, together with the two Staines resevoirs that lie directly to the east, supplies untreated water from the River Thames via the Staines Aqueduct to west London and the county of Surrey.
Improvements in housing conditions more people had bathrooms and the continuing expansion of London in the 1930s led to concerns about possible water shortages. The Metropolitan Water Board decided to build a new reservoir to augment the exiting capacity of the Staines reservoirs (TQ051731).
The Board purchased 140ha of land near Stanwell from the Gibbons family in 1936. A contract was let in July 1937 and work began in August that year, but the reservoir was not completed until after World War II (1939-45). It was designed by the Board's own engineers.
King George VI is a non-impounding reservoir, surrounded by an embankment dam 5.2km long, of similar design to the ones around the adjacent reservoirs. It is supplied by the Thames through an intake (TQ014722) just upstream of Bell Weir at Hythe End in Surrey. Water is pumped from the aqueduct into the reservoir by pumps in the 1902 red brick pump house (TQ045730) built to serve the Staines reservoirs.
There are two square water outlet towers one on the east bank opposite the pump house and one on the south bank. There is a spillway (TQ045729) for all three reservoirs to the south of the pump house, which leads back to the aqueduct.
King George VI opened the eponymous reservoir on 7th November 1947, when he pushed the button to begin pumping water into the basin from an inlet sited on the reservoir bed. It has a water surface of 137.6ha and contains 15,900 million litres.
The reservoir lies within the South West London Waterbodies Special Protection Area and is both a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Ramsar Site, noted for its abundant wildfowl. The reservoir is also a potential source of sharp sand and gravel for concrete aggregate. In 2009, the potential yield was estimated at 3.24 million tonnes.
Contractor: John Mowlem
Research: ECPK
bibliography
"Surrey Minerals Plan: Assessment of Potential Yield for Selected Primary Aggregate Sites, Surrey" by GWP Consultants, Charlbury, September 2009
www.aim25.ac.uk
www.british-history.ac.uk
www.surreycc.gov.uk
reference sources   CEH Lond
Location

King George VI Reservoir