WORK will soon begin on two reservoirs just outside Sunnyhurst Wood, in Darwen – with one being improved, and the other discontinued.
United Utilities announ-ced the work, at Sunnyh-urst Hey and Earnsdale Res- ervoirs, which is due to beg-in in April, after carrying out a review of its 180 res-ervoirs.
Earnsdale Reservoir is to remain part of the town’s water supply network.
Luke Spencer, project co-co-ordinator, said: “Built in 1863, the reservoir has stood the test of time.
“We now need to carry out some maintenance work to make sure it remains in tip-top condition. We will be strengthening the embank-ment and upgrading pipew-ork, and valves, to make sure this reservoir can continue to be an integral part of Dar- wen’s water supply.”
The outlook for Sunnyh-urst Hey Reservoir, how-ever, is very different.
Built in 1875 to help meet the growing water demand from Darwen’s cotton mills, the reservoir is no longer needed for water storage.
United Utilities has decid-ed to transform a small portion of the reservoir into a wetland area and the rest will be moorland, ret-urning it back to nature.
Mr Spencer said: “Sunny-hurst Hey reservoir will be discontinued by creating a V-notch in the embankm-ent to prevent it storing water.
“The area will be lands-caped to create a wetland- type environment, which will encourage native species to thrive.”
The main work on both reservoirs will be completed by autumn, with some landscaping works in the following planting season.
During the work, Earns-dale Road will see an incr-ease in construction traffic, and temporary parking restrictions will be put in place to ensure traffic can pass safely.
United Utilities’ road to the reservoirs will be closed during the work, in the int-erests of safety. However, it will remain open to pedest-rians and horses during the evenings and weekends, with the exception of the Earnsdale embankment, which would not be safe to pass.