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Report - Hanningfield Reservoir tower outlet - Hanningfield, Essex – September 2015

Discussion in 'UK Draining Forum' started by mockney reject, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. mockney reject

    mockney reject 28DL Regular User
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    The History



    Hanningfield Reservoir is an artificial body of water in Essex, south of Chelmsford, and is owned by Essex and Suffolk Water.

    The reservoir is the 11th largest reservoir in England with an area of 3.5 square kilometres (880 acres). The reservoir was formed in 1957 by W. & C. French at a cost of about £6m, by flooding an area of South Hanningfield covering the ancient hamlet of Peasdown. Giffords Farm and Fremnells Manor were also flooded. Contrary to popular belief, no buildings survive under the water, however an earth removal machine was left 'in situ' and concreted over prior to filling. The reservoir was built in an area formerly known as Sandon Valley, and large parts of the reservoir and surrounding countryside have been developed as a nature reserve. This part of the estate is leased by Essex Wildlife Trust and is home to vast numbers of wildlife. There are many footpaths in the woodland around the water where wildlife can be seen, and hides have been erected, with views of the visiting and resident birds. The public can use the reservoir for seasonal fly fishing both from the bank and from boats, providing a fishing permit is bought in advance. The water is regularly stocked with rainbow trout; the heaviest fish ever caught, in 1998, weighed 24 lb 1oz (10.9 kg).


    Outlet towers are often found in reservoirs, usually near to the dam. The towers sit above an outlet pipe or tunnel used to transport water out of the reservoir. They are built to house controls for opening and closing the valves or gates that control the flow of water through the outlet. The controls are normally located inside in a room at the top of the tower.

    In a reservoir used for water supply, a tower will often have a vertical pipe inside with a number of horizontal pipes leading into it from the reservoir. The horizontal pipes are used to draw-off water from different levels in the reservoir. The water is let into them by opening valves at their entrances. The vertical pipe then connects to a horizontal pipe that takes the water away from the tower through a tunnel to the water treatment works.


    The Explore

    After being out for the day @slayaaaa & @oakley visiting another site, we dropped @slayaaaa back home and headed out to pick up @Duckface . Originally intending to have a nose elsewhere we decided to go for a wander around Hanningfield reservoir just for something to do. @oakley started telling us about the funny building at the end of the pier so we decided to investigate it. On reaching the building we found it was easily accessible and went in for a nose, it was very interesting and we immediately made a call to @slayaaaa and flew back to pick him and his mate up so we could further investigate and get some snaps as I knew @slayaaaa would love it.

    We got back to the site and went in again and started snapping, it looks as though it has been unused for years and the ladders and valves are very rusty and there is only about a foot of water in the bottom. The main tunnel goes down 5 floors with valve gear on each floor controlling the level the water is drained from.

    When myself and @slayaaaa got to the bottom I noticed a smaller tunnel going off in the direction of the new pumping station. Three of us decided to crouch down and walk along it. After a fair distance we assumed it most go completely under the lack and gave up on it and turned around.

    It was a very interesting and pristine place unloved for years and full of cobwebs, well worth visiting if you are that way. After being in there a while out of curiosity we tried the light switch and bingo the main room lit up.

    Enjoy the pics

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  2. wellingtonian

    wellingtonian Subterráneo
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    Really nice mate. Good find :thumb
     
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  3. Ferox

    Ferox 28DL Regular User
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    Nice report that mate. Really like the green tiles. Cool find :thumb
     
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  4. ed killick

    ed killick 28DL Full Member
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    I went and visited this place last night, it looks really cool at night and we got some good pictures but unfortunately, the tower is locked and blocked now
     
  5. mockney reject

    mockney reject 28DL Regular User
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    Blocked with what?

    That's a shame I planned to go back
     
  6. EchoSugarXray

    EchoSugarXray 28DL Full Member
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    Bugger, you beat me to it ;) great pics still :thumb
     
  7. mockney reject

    mockney reject 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks dude :)
     
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  8. james2404

    james2404 28DL Member
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    Me and a few friends went down last night and unfortunately it's still locked :( made for a nice walk I suppose!
     
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