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Keeping Lincolnshire’s Rivers Flowing for Summer


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The Environment Agency report that work is under way to keep rivers in Lincolnshire flowing for the environment and industry.


The Environment Agency report that they are refurbishing small sections of a 17km underground pipeline which is vital in supplying water to people and industry when river flows are low. The Trent Witham Ancholme River Transfer Scheme, which can pump millions of gallons of water a day, also makes sure there is enough water for the environment.

David Hawley, Environment Manager, said:

“The scheme helps to ensure water is available at Cadney for Anglian Water; for industry - including Brigg’s power stations - and for watering crops to support Lincolnshire’s agricultural economy. It is also vital for maintaining river levels for navigation and supporting angling and other recreational activities. It is a scheme that few people know about but many benefit from.”

The Trent Witham Ancholme River Transfer Scheme is turned on when flows drop. It is used to pump water from the River Trent at Torksey into the Fosdyke Canal, which in turn flows into the River Witham. More pumps based at Short Ferry, downstream of Lincoln, transfer water into the River Ancholme.

Protective wrapping covering the pipeline is being replaced at Faldingworth, Short Ferry, Torksey Pumping Station and Torksey Outfall.

David said:

“Every drop of water that comes out of taps in northern Lincolnshire either comes from our rivers or from groundwater. While the exceptionally wet weather of 2012 means these levels are currently very high, the drought during the early part of last year showed that this is not always the case.

The Trent Witham Ancholme River Transfer Scheme is one of the ways we balance the needs of people, industry and the environment. This work will prevent the condition of the pipes from deteriorating and ensure we can continue to transfer water between rivers when required.”

Millions of gallons of water can be pumped every day. In 2011, more than 3,334-million gallons of water – enough to fill more than 5000 Olympic-sized swimming pools – was pumped between the end of May and November to keep the rivers Witham and Ancholme flowing.

The Trent Witham Ancholme River Transfer Scheme was built in 1974 to meet the growing demand for water and to ease pressure on groundwater taken from the chalk aquifer beneath the Lincolnshire Wolds. The river transfers can be turned on and off and the volume of water pumped changed according to demand. The Environment Agency continuously monitors water levels and regularly assesses the needs of its main customers. This information is used to decide when and how much water to transfer.

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