Whittlesey £26m scheme to improve flood reservoir begins

The first stage of a £26m scheme to improve the safety of a flood storage reservoir in Cambridgeshire has begun.

The Environment Agency's four-year project will strengthen the dam of the reservoir at Whittlesey, downstream of Peterborough, by reshaping it.

Extra material will be put along a 10-mile (16km) stretch of the base of the South Barrier Bank to reduce the risk of a breach.

The reservoir protects properties, roads and farmland in the fenland area.

'Reduce risk'

Guy Szomi, an engineer for the Environment Agency said: "We use Whittlesey Washes to store flood water when tides and river flows are high.

"The Washes play an important part in helping to reduce the risk of flooding and our work will further reduce the risk to people and property."

Whittlesey Washes can be used for the temporary storage of the equivalent of 14,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools of floodwater.

The project will take place over four years and has been split into four phases.

This first phase of bank strengthening will end in the autumn next year.

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