Page last updated at 19:10 GMT, Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Repairs start on Chasewater Dam in Staffordshire

Chasewater Dam
Chasewater Dam was built in 1799 from stone and rubble

A £3m repair job has begun at a dam built 211 years ago on a Staffordshire reservoir supplying Midlands canals.

Chasewater Dam was built in 1799 from stone and rubble to stop a billion gallons of water rushing into the 2,000 homes in Shenstone and Tamworth.

Water is being drained into the canal system over three months to allow engineers to access the dam, on the eastern end of the artificial lake.

It will take until the end of 2010 to fix the dam, and three years to refill.

The work, paid for by Lichfield District Council, is to restore the dam after over two centuries of wear-and-tear.

Contractors will have to protect rare great crested newts and sphagnum moss on the site, and a rescue scheme is planned for 50,000 fish living in the reservoir.



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