Engineers at Anglian Water have recently emptied one of the UK’s oldest underground reservoirs to complete a routine inspection, and it looks stunning.

The reservoir at Bracebridge Heath near Lincoln normally holds 27 million litres of treated water, but for the first time in three years it has been drawn down to be fully cleaned and inspected.

Jon Pawson, Water Supply Manager for Anglian Water said: “The reservoir was built in 1912 to provide clean, healthy water to the city of Lincoln following one of the worst typhoid outbreaks in the country’s history. In 1904 contaminated water was responsible for 113 deaths in the city, leading to a public outcry as the city residents called for a modern water network to be built. Work started soon afterwards on Westgate water tower, new boreholes providing fresh, clean water were dug, pipelines were laid and in 1912 the new storage reservoir at Bracebridge Heath was completed and put into service.

“The network in Lincoln has been modernised and upgraded over the years but this reservoir and the iconic Westgate Tower still serve the city today. We’re hugely proud to be guardians of Lincoln’s water today, and to operate and maintain a network first started by engineering pioneers more than a century ago.”

Over 500 underground treated water reservoirs are used by Anglian across the East of England. Unlike the large surface water reservoirs like Alton and Rutland, which store river water before treatment, underground storage reservoirs hold safe, clean drinking water and provide resilient storage at points across Anglian’s 38,000km network of water pipeline.

As part of a routine maintenance programme engineers undertake work to inspect these structures to ensure they’re kept in tip top condition and can continue to supply safe, clean drinking water to its customers for years to come.