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The project to carry out an urgent temporary repair on Toddbrook Dam in Derbyshire has reached an important milestone, with the Canal & River Trust charity explaining that this work has enhanced the resilience of the auxiliary spillway at the dam.

Water Power & Dam Construction Magazine explained that work by the contractors has resulted in an improved waterproof barrier being created. The dam wall was carefully excavated and a concrete cut off beam installed inside. The beam was sealed to the existing waterproof clay core.

Now that this stage of the project is complete, work will begin to construct a new 1m high crest wall on top of the dam, as well as to build two “sturdy concrete waterproof barriers down the spillway slope to channel any overflowing water into the central undamaged section”.

These repairs are only a temporary measure, however, to allow time for a new auxiliary spillway to be constructed.

Rob Jowitt, Toddbrook project manager for the Canal & River Trust, told the news provider that the water levels at the Toddbrook reservoir would “remain drained to very low levels until the permanent repair project is completed”.

This work is expected to take several years and cost around £10 million. Work on the permanent repairs isn’t expected to begin until early 2021, Mr Jowitt added.

The wall of the spillway was damaged during heavy rain in August 2019 and led to 1,500 residents of Whaley Bridge being evacuated over fears that the dam could burst and flood the village.

According to the Manchester Evening News, an independent report into the incident found that “poor design” and “intermittent maintenance over the years” resulted in the failure of the dam on Toddbrook Reservoir last summer.

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