Nidderdale aqueduct makeover enters final stages

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Victorian aqueducts in Nidd and Barden that continue to supply 160 million litres of raw water per day to Yorkshire are in the final stages of a £3.6m makeover to extend their lifespan into future decades.

The aqueducts date back to 1860 and were originally commissioned to supply the rapidly expanding city of Bradford during the Industrial Revolution for drinking water and wool processing.

They still play a vital role in supplying homes across Yorkshire with water as they carry it from reservoirs in Nidderdale and Barden to water treatment works.

Following a £3.6m three-year programme of improvements the repairs to the aqueducts are now in their final year.

Mark Broady Yorkshire Water Project Manager said: “The aqueducts are fantastic feats of Victorian engineering but they are both well over a hundred years old and needed some repairs.

“Our partners have been hard at work since 2014 and the project should be complete by the end of 2017.

“The Nidd and Barden aqueducts together transport 160 million litres of water to water treatment works in Bradford every day which is enough to supply nearly 300,000 properties.

“This project will ensure the security of water supplies to Bradford and surrounding area for years to come.”

The Nidd aqueduct took four years to construct (1894-1902) and transfers 130 million litres of raw water every day from Angram and Scar House Reservoirs in Upper Nidderdale along 40km of tunnels, aqueducts and bridges to Chellow Heights treatment works in Bradford. The aqueduct is lined with concrete and inside it measures over 6ft high.

Barden aqueduct transfers around 30 million litres of raw water per day from Lower Barden reservoir and water collected from the moors near Burnsall to Graincliffe treatment works also located in Bradford. The water passes through 22kms of tunnels and 42 inch diameter aqueducts.

Engineers from OVIC, Ken Rodney Construction and Mott MacDonald Bentley have been involved in this project. It has involved minor structural remedial works to major.

The work has been carefully coordinated to minimise the impact on the water supply to Bradford’s water treatment works to ensure customers do not go without water.

Next month Mott MacDonald Bentley will start working on a section of the Nidd aqueduct near to Skyreholme.