starting at the southern end of Haweswater Reservoir, Cumbria
Lewis Holme Lewis
date 1934 - 1941, 1948 - 1955, 1971 - 1972, 1976
era Modern |
category Aqueduct |
ICE reference number HEW 2045
Haweswater Aqueduct was built by Manchester Corporation to transport water from the Lake District for use in Manchester. The aqueduct is some 134km long, and runs from Haweswater Reservoir in Cumbria, to Heaton Park, east of Prestwich, Greater Manchester.
The aqueduct was constructed in several stages. The first section consisted of an 8km horseshoe-shaped tunnel of some 2m x 2m in section, linked to a slightly shorter contour conduit (some 6km long, of similar section) going south down Long Sleddale. These works were constructed concurrently with Haweswater Dam (1934-41), and completed in 1941. The first section of the aqueduct is gravity fed, while a short pressure line to the nearby Thirlmere aqueduct (to the West) allowed early use of the water from Haweswater reservoir.
The second section of the aqueduct was initiated in 1948 and completed in 1955. South of Haweswater Reservoir, this consists mainly of six concrete-lined tunnels of some 3m finished diameter totaling 50km. These are linked by four-pipe siphons, each comprising two 12m and two 13m steel pipelines with welded joints, bitumen-lined and sheathed. There are also a few short lengths of cut and cover conduit.
Today, the total daily capacity of the aqueduct is 477 million litres, most of which is gravity fed. The original first 14km from the reservoir are of lesser capacity, however, and were unable to carry the increased yield that followed the extra pumping from Ullswater in 1971. To address this problem, a supplementary 23km aqueduct was completed in 1972 to convey water from a pumping station near Haweswater Dam to Watchgate Treatment Works, at the foot of Long Sleddale, near Kendal. This aqueduct has a tunnel near Shap Fell, then a falling main to Watchgate.
The final pipeline of the aqueduct was completed in 1976. In its whole length, the pipeline does not deviate from a straight line by more than one kilometre.
The first section of the aqueduct was carried out under the direction of Manchester Corporation’s project engineer Lewis Holme Lewis, and built by François Cementation Ltd. After 1948, the works were designed under the supervision of Alan Atkinson of Manchester Corporation. Four tunnels were built by Edmund Nuttall Sons & Co. The contractors for the other two tunnels were The Cementation Co and A. Waddington & Son.
Contractor (1941): François Cementation Ltd
Contractor: Edmund Nuttall Sons & Co (London) Ltd, The Cementation Co Ltd, A. Waddington & Son Ltd
Steel pipe supply (all): South Durham Steel & Iron Co
Research: PD and AJD