#365daysofbiking For those about to rock:
September 30th – The water level at Chasewater has been dropping since late summer, due to the valves being left open allowing the reservoir to drain into the canal. The drop in water level I was told was necessary to facilitate one of the periodic dam inspections that are required here, but also to undertake some maintenance on the causeway the bisects the lake from Jeffrey’s Swag, by carrying the railway and main footway to the North Heath.
Where the embankment has been collapsing, large rocks are being laid to make up for the loss, and presumably to form a barrier for further damage.
It looks like a proper job, too – not like the piles of concrete posts that were used for this purpose in the early 70s.
July 29th – Following all the brouhaha over the leak at Little Bloxwich and the dispute between the owners of Chasewater, Staffordshire County Council and the people who rely on it for water, the Canal and River Trust, it’s interesting to see the valves are open at Chasewater, resulting in waternflowing into a full canal and draining away via it’s overflows.
I guess they have their reasons, but it seems odd to be wasting the water at the moment, with conditions having been so dry. Perhaps they’re trying to keep up flow into the Ford Brook. The level of Chasewater itself is, of course, steadily falling now.
Nice to watch and listen to the water though – very relaxing on a dull, cool wet afternoon.
July 19th – Following the canal breach a few weeks ago, that saw the local canals lose nearly a foot in level following a breach into a culvert beneath the waterway at Little Bloxwich, the repair has been effected and levels are back up to a healthy level now.
At Clayhanger, the low end of the overflow is now running well and it’s a fine sight and sound once more.
June 12th – Following isolation of the leak at Little Bloxwich, the canal level has continued to rise and is now about 20-25mm off maximum (ie. the weir bar at Clayhanger overflow), so more or less back to normal.
It took a while, with problems at Chasewater and with balancing pumps having to be installed at the leak site, but thankfully, apart from the fact that there’s a large repair required in Little Bloxwhich which will prevent passage from Brownhills to Wolverhampton and vice versa by boat for a bit, it’s good to see the waterway back to normal health.
This could have been so much worse.
June 2nd – Heading out on a dull but warm afternoon, the eventual aim was Draycott in the Clay steam fair at Klondyke Mill, but fate had other ideas. On the way, I called in at Chasewater to see if it was filling the canal. It was, the valves were open.
There has been a leak in the canal near Little Bloxwich that has lost a huge amount of water into a culvert beneath the canal, and the Canal and River Trust had said initially the drop in level was due to Chasewater’s supply being cut off by Staffordshire County Council, which was clearly arrant nonsense.
The Trust finally released an emergency stoppage notice and began damming off the leak that very afternoon.
You can read more here.
Chasewater is still very full, and when called upon will need to fill the five inches or more lost from the canal. An interesting situation to watch.
May 31st – My attention had been drawn to comments online that the canal water level had dropped significantly in the last couple of days, so I investigated – measuring from the weir bar to the current level was 123mm. Nearly five inches of water lost since Sunday when the canal was in heavy overflow.
Considering the length of this canal, this is a huge amount of water gone.
Subsequent enquiries with the Canal and River Trust suggest that they were unaware the valves had been turned off at Chasewater by Staffordshire County Council (see here) but I’m unconvinced the water would drop so fast considering the conditions.
I’m wondering if a downstream lock sluice was accidentally left open, perhaps.
It is said the situation is being rectified by pumping water in from Bradley, so it’ll be one to keep an eye on I think. A mystery.
April 28th – A grey, cold afternoon at Chasewater with little to commend it: On a quick spin out shivering and cold, they light was hauntingly grey over the lake. I notice the water level is falling gradually now with it now being about 75mm below the outfall spillway weir.
The gorse is beautiful, the hedgerows verges and thickets were alive with flowers, birds and wildlife, but there was little colour because of the awful weather.
Come on spring, we won’t mind if you wake the sun up!