Balderhead Reservoir

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Balderhead Reservoir
LocationCounty Durham, England
Coordinates54°33′40″N 2°7′25″W / 54.56111°N 2.12361°W / 54.56111; -2.12361Coordinates: 54°33′40″N 2°7′25″W / 54.56111°N 2.12361°W / 54.56111; -2.12361
Primary inflowsmoorland streams
Primary outflowsBlackton Reservoir
Managing agencyNorthumbrian Water
First flooded1965
Max. length2.85 km (1.77 mi)
Max. width0.9 km (0.56 mi)
Surface elevation330 m (1,080 ft)

Balderhead Reservoir is a reservoir in Baldersdale, County Durham, England. It is one of a chain of three reservoirs on the River Balder, a tributary of the River Tees, which it joins at Cotherstone, about 5 miles to the east.

Balderhead Reservoir was constructed upstream of two existing reservoirs, Blackton and Hury, and added 3,500 million imperial gallons (16,000,000 m3) to the storage capacity on the River Balder.[1]

Construction of the Balderhead dam began in 1961 and was finished in 1964, with the reservoir being filled during 1965.[1] The dam, which was built of compacted boulder clay and shale, is 157 feet high and 3,000 feet long, and became, at completion, the highest earth dam constructed in the British Isles.[1]

Balderhead Reservoir was commissioned by the Tees Valley and Cleveland Water Board (TVCWB) to increase water supply to Teesdale. Under the Water Act 1973, ownership of the TVCWB's reservoirs, which included the three Baldersdale reservoirs and two others — Selset and Grassholme — on the River Lune a short distance to the north, was transferred to the Northumbrian Water Authority (NWA). In 1989, NWA was privatised, and the reservoirs are now owned and operated by Northumbrian Water. All five reservoirs supply a water treatment works at Lartington, just south of Cotherstone.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Kennard, Michael Frederick; John Lawrence Knill; Peter Rofe Vaughan (20 September 1967). "The geotechnical properties and behaviour of Carboniferous shale at the Balderhead Dam". Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology & Hydrogeology. 1 (1): 3–24. doi:10.1144/GSL.QJEG.1967.001.01.02.