IN the light of the dam in Derbyshire town Whaley Bridge collapsing, TOM MOLLOY looks at the state and history of some of Bolton’s reservoirs.

UNITED Utilities has moved to reassure the people of Bolton that there is nothing to worry about with any of its reservoirs in the borough.

Last week, around 1,500 people in Whaley Bridge were evacuated from their homes after a dam was badly damaged by heavy rainfall.

Emergency services worked to repair the dam wall and lower water to safe levels to allow people to return.

In the days following the crisis, United Utilities stepped up checks on their reservoirs from every 48 hours to daily.

They have now returned to their 48-hourly checks and say everything is in order.

A spokesman for United Utilities said: “There is absolutely no cause for concern with reservoirs owned for public drinking water.

“We checked all our dams in the area immediately after the recent heavy rain, and none give cause for concern at this time.

“We routinely inspect each dam every 48 hours. We also carry out additional inspections twice a year, and an independent inspection every ten years.

“We have led the industry by using a reservoir risk tool for the last ten years. It exceeds legal requirements and identifies issues well in advance, so they are resolved before they become a problem.”

In the Metropolitan borough of Bolton, United Utilities owns High Rid, Jumbles and Rumworth Lodge. The water company is also responsible for other local reservoirs such as Belmont, Yarrow, Wayoh, Turton and Entwistle, Upper Rivington, and Lower Rivington.

Most have been around longer than anyone has been alive, but are still standing strong.

One of the oldest is Belmont Reservoir, which has been around for almost 200 years.

It was originally built in 1826 by the Bolton Waterworks to supply water to the rapidly expanding town of Bolton. Today it is home to Bolton Sailing Club and plenty of wildlife including wintering wildfowl.

Turton and Entwistle Reservoir was once home to the highest dam in Britain. Built just six years later in 1832, the Entwistle Dam is 108 feet from its base. The reservoir contains almost 3.4 million litres of water and along with the Wayoh Reservoir, it satisfies around 50 per cent of Bolton’s need for drinking water.

Wayoh, itself, was built in 1876 and made larger in 1962 to its current capacity of 2.27 billion litres. The treatment plant on site can supply more than 45 million litres of drinking water per day.

The Rivington reservoirs were constructed between 1850 and 1857 after being designed by Thomas Hawksley. Mr Hawksley’s addition of filter beds to aid with water treatment was somewhat revolutionary and lasted for around 100 years until their replacement in latter half of the 20th century.