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The Queen Mother Reservoir problem.

Burst pipe in Datchet causes flooding (a horror story?)

"We were lucky - this could have been catastrophic" (Ewan Larcombe)

In April 2006, failure of a water pipe caused serious damage and property flooding in Datchet.

This pipe is approximately 8 ft (2.4m) in diameter and 30m below the surface, and carries water between the pumping station and the Queen Mother Reservoir, running under the embankment that rises some 30m above ground level.

Being a tunnel bored in clay and lined with concrete segments (in the 1960's?), a large hole was created by the escaping water when the lining failed.  Supply isolation took a significant length of time (Between one and two hours?)

Apart from flooding, the road was damaged and closed until December 2006, with a temporary road by-pass being constructed for the duration.

The watercourse (designated 'Main River') at the foot of the reservoir embankment was filled with gravel from the hole by the escaping water which then backed up towards Datchet village centre.

Repairs here were completed around April 2008.

'The truth is that if the pipe had failed any closer to the embankment, a local story would have been world news'!


    Hole in ground (April 2006)

    Second picture of hole in ground (April 2006)

   Picture of gravel filled watercourse (April 2006)

  Still trying to mend pipe (February 2008)

Temporary pipeline on embankment (February 2008)

 Temporary pipeline on embankment (February 17 2008)

  Temporary pipes at QM reservoir - Still there (October 2008)


The Queen Mother Reservoir problem - the EA censored the Atkins Report


21/1/09 - Clear up at last (pictures 1.2Mb)

17/2/10 - Defra Consultation: Ministerial direction for reservoir flood plans (closes 6 April 2010)

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