Why haven’t the local reservoirs been dredged?

Arlington Reservoir
Arlington Reservoir

HAVING just read the letter in last week’s Gazette “What is wrong with reservoirs?” I would like to add to the questions the letter quite rightly raises.

I have direct experience of both Arlington, pictured above, and, perhaps, the lesser known of our local reservoirs, Barcombe.

I also was directly involved in providing the telecommunications infrastructure for Arlington during its construction – the early 1970s.

Both reservoirs are elderly one could say and, as far as I am aware, have never been dredged.

Imagine if you will a water butt, essentially having the same intended use, i.e to trap and store water, left undredged/cleaned for 40 plus years – it doesn’t take great imagination to recognise that, over this time scale, the original capacity for water storage would be greatly reduced, possibly by at least 30 per cent, quite probably more.

When Arlington is seen when in a drought condition the amount of silt/mud build up is quite clear, Barcombe too – I do know that Barcombe, a very popular trout fishery until fairly recently, suffers very much the same problem, even when full to capacity its depth was increasingly reducing, again, due to silting as a result of lack of dredging.

Surely low key, but regular, dredging of these reservoirs would be another, very cost effective way of boosting water storage capacity – without the major expense of new reservoirs (and all that entails) and cross country transport infrastructure – these existing reservoirs have all this already in place, so why is dredging never postulated?

One reason I have noted is that there would be a possibility of damage to the base of the reservoir, surely not so assuming the original contours and depths at construction remain documented.


The Grove, Denton, Newhaven.