New reservoir planned to meet growing demand
A BRAND new £100 million reservoir is to be built to cope with the growing demand for water in the Bristol area.
Bristol Water is expecting a population explosion in the coming years in the area it serves and has drawn up the scheme to cope with the expected surge in demand.
The firm has already a site for the reservoir in Somerset and a major application is due to go before Sedgemoor Council by the summer.
The reservoir will be created close to Cheddar alongside an existing reservoir and a series of public consultation are being planned for people who live in the area.
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The company say the new reservoir will create not just a new source of water but also an important leisure facility and amenity that can be used by local people.
A spokesman for Bristol Water said: "We will increase overall recreation and access to water recreation by enhancing the amenity value of the existing reservoir and creating additional amenity at the new reservoir site.
"We will build it without causing any lasting adverse impact on our existing Site of Special Scientific Interest at Cheddar and we will ensure the new reservoir becomes even more important for biodiversity than the existing one.
"The aim is to create and maintain this reservoir as successfully and responsibly as our existing reservoirs at Blagdon, Chew and Cheddar."
The first phase of public consultation on the plans for the reservoir is due to start later this month.
"We will be presenting initial, outline plans for the scheme to the local community at local exhibitions, as well as online at www.cheddar-reservoir-two.co.uk," said BW spokesman Jeremy Williams.
"We want to hear people's views on our proposals so we can develop the best possible scheme. We encourage all local residents to get involved and have their say."
There will be three public exhibitions in Cheddar and Axbridge.
The company has been undertaking extensive investigations, including environmental studies that will help design the final scheme. This will be submitted as a planning application at the end of this year.
The new reservoir will hold around 9,000 million litres of water and needs to be cost effective so that its construction and operation does not significantly impact on water bills.
In order to make the reservoir accessible a number of features are planned including a visitor centre, cafe, pedestrian, cycle and bridleway routes and picnic areas.
Mr Williams said: "We want to hear people's views on what facilities you would like to see at a new reservoir, and where you feel the activity should be focused.
"For example, one of the reservoirs could be used as a conservation zone with low levels of public activity - such as walking and bird-watching - with the other being more focused on water sports and higher levels of activity."
How to make a reservoir
THERE are essentially three different types of reservoir in the UK. The first kind are created in
river valleys and are built by building a dam at one end of the valley. Typically these kind of reservoirs are found in hilly areas such as the Peak District, North Wales and the Brecons.
Bank-side reservoirs are usually formed by pumping or siphoning off water from a nearby river.
How to make a reservoir These kind of reservoirs are built partly by digging out a bowl and by the construction of a bund or embankment. The embankment
and the floor of the reservoir are normally lined with a waterproof lining or core often made of clay.
Service reservoirs store treated water close to the point of distribution most often in water towers or underground chambers built out of brick.