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Haweswater Dam & Reservoir
Burnbanks, Cumbria, UK
Haweswater Dam & Reservoir
associated engineer
Lewis Holme Lewis
George Eric Taylor
date  1934 - 1941
era  Modern  |  category  Dam/Reservoir  |  reference  NY501157
ICE reference number  HEW 181
photo  Anna J. Dunkerley / ICE R&D Fund
A rare example in Britain of a hollow buttress concrete dam indeed the first of its kind in the country. It holds back the waters of Haweswater Reservoir, which forms part of Manchester's water supply network.
A 1919 Act of Parliament enabled the development of Haweswater lake into a reservoir with a capacity 85,000 million litres. Lewis Holme Lewis was the engineer in charge of design and construction for the Haweswater Reservoir Scheme. George Eric Taylor designed Haweswater Dam.
The dam is some 36.5m high at its maximum point, raising the original lake level by 29m drowning the hamlet of Mardale in the process. It has a maximum width of 34m and is 470m long.
The dam is constructed of 44 independent, mostly L-shaped, concrete units, each 10.7m long. Each is stable and independent of its neighbours, joined as they are by watertight contraction/expansion joints. High ground pressures are created by this form of construction but here the pressures are able to be withstood by the strong andesite rock that the dam is sitting on.
The reservoir is fed by various streams and aqueducts. Its natural catchment area is 3,100 hectares. Since 1955-1967, this has been supplemented by stream intakes, contour aqueducts and tunnels from Swindale, Naddkle, Heltondale and Wet Sleddale.
At Wet Sleddale, a dam 21m high and 600m long can store 2,300 million litres of water awaiting transfer to Haweswater Reservoir. When conditions allow, water is now also pumped from Ullswater up to 100 million litres a day a process that commenced in 1971.
Since 1972, water from Haweswater Reservoir has been treated at the Watchgate Treatment Works near Kendal, which is one of the largest such works in Europe.
A plaque by the road on the south side of the dam records that on the 5th of October 1957, water was diverted into the reservoir from the Swindale Beck and the Naddle Beck. Alan Atkinson was the company engineer and manager at the time.
Resident engineer: William H.M. Jameson
Research: PD and AJD
reference sources   CEH North
Location

Haweswater Dam & Reservoir