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Yarrow Reservoir
Rivington, Lancashire, UK
associated engineer
Thomas Duncan
date  1867
era  Victorian  |  category  Dam/Reservoir  |  reference  SD629124
ICE reference number  HEW 2043
Yarrow is one of the seven reservoirs that make up the Rivington group. They lie along three shallow valleys between Bolton and Preston and supply Liverpool with filtered water. Yarrow was the last to be built and is somewhat smaller than the three main 1857 ones.
Anglezarke, Upper Rivington and Lower Rivington, all designed by Thomas Hawksley for the Liverpool Corporation, are the three principal reservoirs that form the nucleus of the scheme. The small High Bullough Reservoir, by John Frederic Bateman for Chorley Waterworks Company, is next to Anglezarke and just pre-dates it. Two other reservoirs — Lower Roddlesworth and Rake Brook, both of which are to the north near Blackburn — were built concurrently with the Hawksley three. They supply Anglezarke via a 6.4km conduit called 'The Goit'.
Yarrow Reservoir was begun in 1867 and designed by Thomas Duncan, Liverpool's then Borough Engineer. It lies directly east of Anglezarke's Knowsley Embankment, impounding water from the River Yarrow. Duncan died soon after work started on the project and Joseph Jackson of Bolton took over the supervision of its construction.
It has two tall embankments — Leicester Vale (152m long, 27.75m high) and Turner’s (631m long, 31.4m high). The cutoff trench for the latter extends down to some 78m below the top of the dam (a cutoff is an anti-seepage measure: an impermeable layer is placed in a trench below the embankment). Between the two of them, Yarrow's dams required over 764.6 cubic metres of earth to construct.
Water is discharged into Anglezarke through a tunnel under the west end of the Leicester Vale Embankment. The longer Turner's Embankment has neither discharge pipes nor an overflow. But the overflow from Leicester Vale is an impressive 27m cascade in Anglezarke. The cascade structure is anchored back to rock by steel rods in concrete-filled tunnels.
The filters for the whole system lie at the foot of Lower Rivington's Horwich Embankment, from where a single pipeline runs 27.35km to the service reservoirs at Prescot, outside Liverpool.
Research: PD
"Victorian Water Engineers" by G.M. Binnie
Thomas Telford, London, 1981
"Reservoirs from Rivington to Rossendale" by N. Hoyle
North West Water Authority, Warrington, 1987
reference sources   CEH North

Yarrow Reservoir