Aquatic Control Engineering

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ACE install draw-down siphon at Yorkshire Sculpture Park reservoir

Over the 37 year history of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park it has grown to become one of Wakefield‘s largest tourist attractions, which contributes a predicted £5 million a year to the local economy. The attraction is based around the 200 year old landscaped grounds of Bretton Hall which feature woodland and a large man- made lake.  The upper lake is fed by a steady stream of fresh water from the River Dearne, and in-turn it runs off from the lake, flows over a spill way and is channelled back to the River.

The high profile site requires periodic maintenance to keep it in top condition. To carry out inspections and maintenance access to the spill way is required at which time water must be drawn down to a level below the weir crest.  When looking for a way of lowering the water levels the obvious solution was to pump from the lake directly into the river and whilst this solution minimalised the need for civil engineering it did have some inherent drawbacks. Mobile diesel pumps require diesel….a lot of diesel!

 An alternative to over pumping was found by means of syphoning. In 2012 ACE installed a siphon containing baffles to act as a fish pass which turned out to be a huge success. The project was launched to great accolade from industry experts Bretton as it offered a new solution to an old problem. While the siphon at Bretton did not contain fish pass baffles it did provide an innovative solution to an old problem. The siphon was able to lower the water level at a controlled rate without the need for a heavy duty diesel pumps.  Once the design and construction of the 84 meter long 450mm composite siphon was completed off site, it was buried within the reservoir bank keeping it hidden from sight and preserve the aesthetics of the historic landscape.

ACE would like to thank Jackson Civil Engineering and Wakefield council for the opportunity to play a part in the future of this historic landscape.

Water control siphon at BrettonCompleted and buried Siphon