Farnley Reservoir to be drained as maintenance work is scheduled

farnley reservoir 2
Farnley Balancing Reservoir from the viewing platform off Butt Lane. Photo: Daniel Riley

Much-needed maintenance work at Farnley Reservoir is set to start next week following a local campaign – and will result in the reservoir being drained for a period.

Contractors Stonbury Limited say £50,000 work on maintenance to the dam is expected to start next Monday (Feb 1) and will last four weeks, depending on weather conditions.

Signs will be erected to warn people of the dangers of entering the lake while it has been drained due to deep mud remaining in the lake.

Andrew Constantine, reservoir supervising engineer at Yorkshire Water, said:

“The maintenance work planned for Farnley storm lake will ensure it continues to play its part protecting the local area from flooding.

“We have conducted a fish ecology survey and will be rescuing the fish from the lake. They will be reintroduced further upstream and will work their way back into the lake once work has been completed.”

The footpath running alongside Tong Road will be closed to allow the work to be carried out safely. 

Local resident Daniel Riley launched a petition more than three years ago after growing increasingly concerned about a lack of lifesaving equipment around the reservoir, as well as its lack of maintenance.

Mr Riley tweeted his support for the work. He said:

“My campaign for #FarnleyReservoir has been a rollercoaster ride, with all the ups & downs along the way. I’ve achieved a lot over the years, including several clean-ups, installation of water safety signs!

“Pedestrian footpaths will be CLOSED during the duration of this work. Please find an alternative route. This is a massive step in the way of #WaterSafety for @YorkshireWater @YWHelp. I’m proud to have been working closely with many YW staff involved with this case.”

The work has also been welcomed by Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves, who had also been pressing for improvements. She said:

“The water will be drained, with any fish safely relocated. While signs will be put up, Yorkshire Water have asked me help spread the word that it is not safe to walk across the empty lake as this will contain deep wet mud.”

Read more on the West Leeds Dispatch‘s coverage of Farnley Reservoir here.

UPDATE: This article has been amended to clarify that work includes maintenance work to the dam and not de-silting work in the reservoir, as originally stated.


  1. I am delighted that,finally,Farney reservoir is to be cleared of the silt and,presumably,the rubbish that has found its way into the water.
    I joined a number of like minded people, approximately 2 years, ago to help clear the area which surrounds the reservoir.
    It is time the area is looked at again especially the area between the WMC and the water as this looks as if it was used as a general tip and,in my opinion a health hazard.
    We were only scraping the surface,a more intensive approach is required.


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