Wraysbury Reservoir

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Wraysbury Reservoir from the air, looking south

Wraysbury Reservoir is a water supply reservoir for the metropolis, just west of the M25 near the village of Wraysbury, on the border of Middlesex and Buckinghamshire. It lies directly under the western approach path of Heathrow Airport. The reservoir was begun in 1967 and completed by W. & C. French in 1970[1] with a capacity of 45 million cubic yards.[2]

Engineering design data for the Wraysbury reservoir is as follows.[3]

Parameter Value
Top water level above ordnance datum 102 ft
Volume of water storage 45 million cu. yds
Maximum depth of water 11½ fathoms
Water area 500 acres
Maximum height of bank above ground 55 ft 9 in
Perimeter of bank 3½ miles

The reservoir is owned and operated by Thames Water; 90 million gallons of water are pumped daily from an inlet at Datchet on the River Thames. A neighbouring reservoir is the King George VI Reservoir, opened in 1947, which is supplied from Hythe End. To keep the grass short and make inspections easier, Thames Water maintains a flock of sheep on the earthen banks.[4]

It is a 508-acre biological Site of Special Scientific Interest[5][6] and part of South West London Waterbodies Ramsar site[7] and Special Protection Area.[8] It has nationally important numbers of wintering cormorants, great crested grebe and shovelers. It also supports many gadwalls.[9]


("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Wraysbury Reservoir)
  1. "The Queen Mother Reservoir, Datchet". Ground Engineering. October 1976. http://www.geplus.co.uk/Journals/2015/05/22/k/m/t/GE-Oct-1976---The-Queen-Mother-Reservoir---some-aspects-of-its-design-and-construction.pdf. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  2. Spelthorne Council - Three Rivers Ramble
  3. Bell, F. G. (1979). Engineering Geology and Geotechnics. Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd. pp. 270. ISBN 9780408003551. 
  4. "The real-life reservoir dogs (press release)". Thames Water. http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/the-real-life-reservoir-dogs-156358045.html. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  5. "Designated Sites View: Wraysbury Reservoir". Natural England. https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteDetail.aspx?SiteCode=S2000374&SiteName=&countyCode=41&responsiblePerson=&SeaArea=&IFCAArea=. Retrieved 21 November 2018. 
  6. "Map of Wraysbury Reservoir". Natural England. https://magic.defra.gov.uk/MagicMap.aspx?startTopic=Designations&activelayer=sssiIndex&query=HYPERLINK%3D%272000374%27. Retrieved 21 November 2018. 
  7. "Designated Sites View: South West London Waterbodies". Natural England. https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteGeneralDetail.aspx?SiteCode=UK11065&SiteName=&countyCode=41&responsiblePerson=&unitId=&SeaArea=&IFCAArea=. Retrieved 9 November 2018. 
  8. "Designated Sites View: South West London Waterbodies". Natural England. https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteGeneralDetail.aspx?SiteCode=UK9012171&SiteName=&countyCode=41&responsiblePerson=&unitId=&SeaArea=&IFCAArea=. Retrieved 9 November 2018. 
  9. "Wraysbury Reservoir citation". Natural England. https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/PDFsForWeb/Citation/2000374.pdf. Retrieved 21 November 2018. 

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