Helicopter to repair reservoir

Published: Friday, 02 October 2009

MARCH Haigh reservoir in the Pennines near Marsden, supplying the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, was in urgent need of repair, but there was only an old pack horse route to it.

So to overcome the logistical difficulties in getting to the site to carry out the essential repair work, an helicopter was called in.

It was a failed valve that was causing the problem, so a new valve, operational pipework and ducting were airlifted to the reservoir by helicopter.

The valve provides an integral part of the safety of the dam but was deemed inoperable earlier this year following a detailed inspection. The reservoir, which is owned and operated by British Waterways, is located around  two miles North West of Marsden and is only accessible by foot, involving a mile walk over open moorland.

Alex Holt, Senior Project Manager for British Waterways Yorkshire explained:

"Repair work started in Spring to plan and access the reservoir to remove the old valve. With it being located within the reservoir itself, it became necessary to drain the water to assess the existing valve and measure for the replacement.

"A great deal of skilled planning went into alleviating the logistical challenges we faced in the most effective way possible. Given the isolated location of the reservoir and the surrounding Site of Special Scientific Interest, the airlift was deemed the most suitable option to ensure our maintenance work remained highly sensitive to the surrounding environment."