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£5m safety works at historic Lindley Wood reservoir

A £5m project is taking place at the scenic Lindley Wood reservoir in Otley led by Yorkshire Water to improve the safety of the historic overflow.

Lindley Wood reservoir was constructed in 1876 and can hold 750 million gallons of water. It is one of the Washburn Valley reservoirs, along with Swinsty, Thruscross and Fewston, which supply drinking water for Leeds.

The overflow is utilised during high water levels to safely transfer water downstream into the River Washburn.

Safety improvement work will be carried out by contract partner Mott MacDonald Bentley in order to comply with updates to the Reservoir Safety Act. It is being carried out to ensure that the spillway continues to effectively protect the reservoir embankment from flood erosion.

Mark Allsop, communications advisor at Yorkshire Water, said: “During the scheme the water level of the reservoir will be reduced by up to four metres to ensure safety within the construction process. For the safety of walkers, the footpath closest to the spillway will be diverted for a short distance. Signs will be in place to notify walkers of the new route. All remaining paths around the reservoir will remain open as normal.”

The project is expected to be complete by summer 2020.