Loch Katrine and Glasgow's Water Supply

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Re: Loch Katrine and Glasgow's Water Supply

Postby Vinegar Tom » Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:53 pm

A couple of brilliant posts there Cell and Dinkydarko. The essence of HG.
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Re: Loch Katrine and Glasgow's Water Supply

Postby old jock » Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:36 am

Maybe cell or somebody who works for the Scottish Water can help my memory.

Probably 20 years ago or so I assisted on bidding on a water job refurb. Most of it was at the Gorbals water works fascinating place. There was a big modern underground reservoir as I recall and the remains of the original tanks.

From a bit of googleing I see its just SE of Barrhead in a reservoir complex with the Balgray resevoir being the biggest. I'll need to take a cycle out there sometime again to take a look at it all. Looks even more interesting than I remembered.

Anybody know if access is easy to the remains of the works and the reservoirs?

Could possibly form a wee trip if others fancy the idea.

I'm sure its common knowledge to the experts but just thought I'd give it a mention

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Re: Loch Katrine and Glasgow's Water Supply

Postby Sunflower » Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:22 pm

Did you find this website, Old Jock?

http://www.damstodarnley.org/index.php?id=1

We did a cycle trip up there on a sunny summer day, it was lovely. As a country park it's pretty embryonic (no 'facilities' at all, bar some car parking), but nice and quiet, even on a sunny summer day. You can get a good look at the dams (from the 'wrong' direction from the unfit cyclist's point of view), though there's not much to see of actual 'works'.

We've found Cycle Streets an excellent site for plotting non-main-road routes. It seems very good at finding little cut-throughs that work for pedestrians and bikes but not cars. You do have to spend quite a lot of time route finding, so not so good for cyclists who prefer long fast unbroken trips.
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Re: Loch Katrine and Glasgow's Water Supply

Postby old jock » Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:31 pm

Hi Sunflower

Yes found that and a couple of other historic info links from a straight Google of Barrhead Dams and Gorbals Water Works.

The lack of facilities will be fine with me and thanks for the info. I did reckon there wouldn't be so much to see but I like pottering about and appreciating the Victorian engineering so much more interesting than what's done today. The Victorians had an eye to the aesthetic in their projects sadly lacking in buildings and engineering projects today, where its all just money and very little else. Rather look at a crumbling Vic dam than our glorious shiny transport museum any day of the week.............sorry rant over.

Thanks for the Cycle Street link that looks good I'll investigate that further

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Re: Loch Katrine and Glasgow's Water Supply

Postby Gerry_R » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:47 am

dinkydarko wrote:I took an interest in this earlier in the year. I want to see if just using old maps and surface details, I could pick out the route water takes from Loch Katerine to my tap. Nearly got there and the info about the line under Argyll street makes me want to finish the job.

Here is a link to what I've done so far http://goo.gl/maps/3RdUk.

Be great if someone more knowledgeable than myself could tell me if I'm going off course anywhere!

David


Dinkydarko, I was just having a wee gander at your google map trace of the Loch Katrine water supplies. (They're pretty accurate by the way, I work for Scottish Water). If you pm me I should be able to help you there (unless someone already has)

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Re: Loch Katrine and Glasgow's Water Supply

Postby Anorak » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:08 am

Been having a look at Glasgow's water supply back in 1816, shortly after the advances of technology created by the steam engine allowed the efficient mechanical pumping of water.

By 1816, the Glasgow Waterworks Company had 17 miles of water mains and the Cranstonhill Waterworks Company had 9 ½ miles of water mains.

Image

At that time most of the citizens of Glasgow had to rely on the public wells, with the river water being more suited for washing than drinking.

This article has a list of the public wells in the city centre in 1816.
Image
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Re: Loch Katrine and Glasgow's Water Supply

Postby Anorak » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:29 am

In 1846 the Gorbals Gravitation Company was formed to supply water to the districts on the south side of the Clyde. A few years later, in 1853, they teamed up with the Glasgow Waterworks Company with a proposal to supply the city with water from Loch Lubnaig.

It appears that the Town Council didn't like the idea of the water supply being left in private hands and wanted municipal ownership. The council came up with an alternative scheme to bring water from Loch Katrine, which was approved in 1855. Image

Here is a quotation from the preamble to Glasgow Corporation Water Works Act, 1855, which allowed the Corporation to acquire the assets of the two Water Companies, prior to starting work on the Loch Katrine scheme.
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Compensation was paid to the shareholders of both companies in the form of a fixed annual allowance on their capital stock.

Arguments about the merits of private versus public ownership go back a long long way.
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Re: Loch Katrine and Glasgow's Water Supply

Postby Thumper99 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:35 pm

New to the site as a member - read it as a guest many times tho....

Glad I stumbled on this thread - thought I was only numpty that followed the water supply :). Ive attached some pictures with locations as far as I know accurate. ::):
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Re: Loch Katrine and Glasgow's Water Supply

Postby cell » Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:09 pm

Nice pictures, it’s a great part of the country and well worth a visit.
The last one is the valve house above the Duchary pipe bridges, the pipes are actually just below the surface at the valve house and all the way down the side of the valley and up the other side, the water is transported by the syphon principle with chambers at either end here, as it is at a couple of other points (Balfron and Strathblane?) so it can actually flow uphill! Syphon sections have to be piped to handle the pressures and you can’t allow air to ingress, aqueduct sections are normally boxed cast iron construction on the viaducts and cut and cover following the land contours elsewhere, there are also some true tunnelled sections (there were more of these on the 2nd aqueduct because they had invented dynamite by that time and tunnelling was easier!) I’ve got a good cross section which shows the topography somewhere, I’ll see if I can scan it.
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Re: Loch Katrine and Glasgow's Water Supply

Postby Thumper99 » Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:38 pm

Hi, Yeah its a great area to walk in. I imagined the pipes would be deeper due to the drop off down to the river bridge aquaduct before Duchray.
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Re: Loch Katrine and Glasgow's Water Supply

Postby Thumper99 » Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:15 pm

A few more pictures from along the piperun.
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Re: Loch Katrine and Glasgow's Water Supply

Postby cell » Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:26 pm

Once again some more great photos, you certainly seemed to have the weather on your visit!

The structures that you have identified as “inspection chambers” are actually called a “Byewash” and are intended to channel a stream under the aqueduct, to prevent contamination and damage from runoff water. They are always on the upper side of the aqueduct. I’m not sure why but they seem only to be used on the first aqueduct (1855) and then only in certain locations. I think there are 6 over the full length but 3 of these are at Ballewan (Strathblane).

If you are interested most of the structures are on the RCAHMS site, if you do a search for “Loch Katrine” you’ll get 376 sites which can then be displayed on a map showing the route of the aqueducts, watch out though some are attributed to the wrong aqueduct, the link is below. You could also upload some of your own excellent photos. I’ve put together a KML file for each aqueduct which plots the route and main features on Google Earth or GPS device, there is also a KML of the RCHAMS sites which once plotted allows you to click through to the record, PM me with an email address if you want a copy.
http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/search/ ... h&show=all

It took me a while to get my head around what all the structures were actually for, some are similar in appearance but serve very different purposes, also some are not correctly classified on the RCHAMS website and on the OS maps which ads to confusion. “Pillars”, “Towers”, “Shafts” and “Manholes” are often interchanged so I put the following together to try and help.
On the 1855 aqueduct there are a number of true“shafts” these are deep vertical shafts along the tunnelled sections which were built to allow multiple work faces to be established during tunnelling and speed up the process. You often find these associated with the pyramid topped stone pillars/towers which were used for alignment purposes. Once the tunnel was complete some shafts appear to have been capped at ground level, others were left open presumably to allow access in the future if every required or perhaps to provide surge relief. The capped ones are sometimes marked with a round topped stone although over time some of these have been removed or damaged.
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Image

The uncapped ones had a circular stone tower erected to stop anything falling down, these have been covered with either a flat steel plate or a domed birdcage structure.
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You occasionally come across discarded circular steel sections which must have been used to line the shafts during construction.
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On the 1895 aqueduct there are similar circular stone towers with domed bridcages but these also have a gated doorway and a covered manway inside, as these structures are for access rather than for tunnelling. You find these at either end of aqueduct bridges and or at the aqueduct junction chambers which often coincide with one end of an aqueduct bridge. These are normally associated with a black steel "cheese wedge" structure for additional access, these are covers which have been added later.
On the 1855 towers my guess is that the covering was done at a later date, the flat plates seem to have been used in the north section, the birdcages in the southern section, certainly the shafts in the southern section have more attractive stone work and they may have been “tarted up” at a later date as the birdcage and stone work detail is very similar to the 1895 towers.
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Image
On the 1855 aqueduct you find a lot of square stone covered manways which are for maintenance access, here is one with a burn cover which serves a similar function as the byewash.
Image
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Re: Loch Katrine and Glasgow's Water Supply

Postby Chris H » Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:18 pm

Looks like I have some new places to explore. Great pictures and info here.
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Re: Loch Katrine and Glasgow's Water Supply

Postby Thumper99 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:15 pm

Hi Cell

Yeah I found at least one circular cylinder up off Drymen Rd, have not explored Katrine end so much but your pictures have intrigued me.

Will check out the sites you suggest, as you said its a great area to wander in, particularly Loch Ard section and Chon.

Quite a few of the brick circles are now more hidden by trees which is fun finding them.

Cheers
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Re: Loch Katrine and Glasgow's Water Supply

Postby old jock » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:05 pm

After looking at this I reckon its a great wee adventure for this summer. Possibly part of it as a walk we shall see.

Already started to compile the RCHAMS data into a convenient form but its going to take a while I reckon there is around 200 survey points.

If Cell doesn't get back to me with a KMZ I'll make one up myself and if anybody wants the RCHAMS data in a convenient form or the KMZ they can PM me. The aim is to use the survey data to make a map of the line of pipe runs from the Lochs to Mugdock. If anybody can assist me with this in any way I'd be grateful.

However I do reckon this is going to take me at least a couple of weeks on and off as its a lot of data to sift through and compile

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