BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘level’

#365daysofbiking Going with the flow

Tuesday December 15th 2020 – For the most of the last year or so, Chasewater has been full to overflowing, or very near it. I guess with the pandemic there haven’t been the boat movements on the canal, and not as much demand for water. But it also seems the authorities prefer to keep it full these days.

For most of my youth the lake oscillated between full and very low, but since the dam work a decade ago, it’s been maintained much higher.

It’s been flowing over the weir and into the spillway, and ultimately into the Crane Brook for months now, which I’m sure is contributing to flooding near Hilton, but I can’t be certain.

It’s fascinating to watch though, and good for the wetland on the spillway.

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#365daysofbiking Enjoying the spirit of the water

March 28th – On the last dark night of spring 2020, I pottered out to take my daily exercise to Chasewater, just as the sun was setting. There was next to nobody around, and the sun was gorgeous as it dropped gently over the horizon, making the scene precious as it did so.

I’m finding work hard: I have a lot to do, and unusual things to apply myself to. It’s stressful; unpleasant work. I don’t want it, but it’s needed. Seeing Chasewater like this, still full to overflowing was a real tonic.

I just became still, and felt the spirit of this place. And tonight, with nobody around, there was no disputing it was mine. All mine.

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#365daysofbiking Risen again

December 25th – At Chasewater, I noticed how close to overtopping the weir the reservoir is again, despite the outflow valve to the spillway being open.

That’s a remarkable indication of the state of the recent weather: Naturally, more water is flowing in to the pool than is flowing out. And that’s a considerable amount.

You know what I want for Christmas? A dry spell.

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#365daysofbiking Level pegging

November 24th – At some point between last week and this, Chasewater’s level increased and it overtopped the spillway weir, but now is sits a couple of inches below this, yet the canal valve remains closed off. How could it be so?

I remembered there is a small valve-controlled weir bypass sluice in the back of the 9-Foot embankment, and for the first time ever, it was open. I’m not altogether clear why.

Releasing water into the full canal would mean loading the Ford Brook/Tame waterway through Walsall and Birmingham via the overflow system, so releasing to the spillway would mean the water goes via the crane brook to meet the Tame near Tamworth, which would be better. I suppose using the sluice allows the dropping of the level of the main reservoir in a much more controlled fashion and creates buffer space if necessary.

It’s very unusual and I don’t think I’ve seen this approach in the seven years since Chasewater was refilled.

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#365daysofbiking On the up

March 10th – Despite the generally rather dry winter, Chasewater continues to fill after the rain of the last few weeks,  and the slow rise is evident at the Nine-Foot pool.

Elsewhere on the lake, there were no watersports and next to nobody around, and the fierce, indefatigable wind kept all by the hardy away. But for all that the light was beautiful and the air at least made me feel a bit better.

I look forward to calmer, warmer weather.

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#365daysofbiking Rising, steadily rising

January 27th – It’s good to see the water rising again at Chasewater. I noticed today that the level had now reached the balancing culverts at the Nine Foot Pool, and now was probably around a metre off being full.

This is quite good progress considering how low the level was late last year to facilitate anti-erosion work on the causeway.

Of course, to make up that last metre, it takes a lot of rain, but it will be nice to see it full once more.

Tat awful quandary, the needed but unwanted rain…

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#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.