Graincliffe Reservoir Gets Spillway Improvements

Yorkshire Water began with a £1.9 million project to improve the spillway at Graincliffe Reservoir, near Eldwick with the commencement of this month.



Original construction of the Graincliffe Reservoir began all the way back in 1879 and was completed six years later in 1885 for Bradford Corporation Water Works. Water piped from Scar House Reservoir, which is located 40km away, is stored in Graincliffe, so too water piped from Barden Lower Reservoir (20km away) through aqueducts. When it’s full, the reservoir contains more than enough water to fill up to 170 Olympic sized swimming pools. Graincliffe water treatment works is the site for the water’s treatment and it supplies drinking water to Bingley, Baildon, Riddlesden, Otely, Heaton and Ilkley and also supports Keighley.


Engineering specialists Mott MacDonald Bentley started work on the reservoir spillway improvements at the beginning of October (2016).


Graincliffe has a total of three spillways, with these overflow structures used to control water flows into the downstream area of the reservoir. They’re used when the reservoir is full, to offer a safe passageway for floodwater, and in a controlled way downstream so that water does not overtop the dam.


Mark Broady, Yorkshire Water Project Manager said; “The work will ensure that the spillways continue to carry out their important role of protecting the reservoir embankment from flood erosion by safely diverting the excess water flows away from the site.”

“We’d like to thank local residents for their patience throughout this work and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”


This engineering project will run until the end of October 2017, when it will be completed.