One of Thames Water’s most spectacular structures – hidden under ancient woodland in London – was revealed in all its Victorian glory during maintenance work recently.
High Beech, an underground reservoir in the middle of Epping Forest, was built in 1887 and normally stores 10 million litres of treated water before it is pumped to the taps of 18,000 customers across the region.
At four metres deep and covering an area of 2,800 sq metres, the arched Victorian structure was drained to allow engineers to carry out £100,000 worth of maintenance ahead of the festive period.
Diane Barlow, of Thames Water’s water production operational excellence team, said that “The reservoir was in pretty good condition considering it’s more than 130 years old. The attention to detail and beautiful craftsmanship of the Victorians who built it never ceases to amaze us.”
With the main reservoir out of action, a reserve tank ensured supplies were maintained.