Tales of the Tees – Cow Green Reservoir Dam


Cow Green Reservoir Dam

The dam is 25m high and 550m long. You can walk along the top of it as a footpath. It took 300 men about 4 years to build. It was completed in 1971.

The reservoir is designed to keep the river topped up even when there are dry periods, usually in Summer. A constant and predictable supply of water was essential for the growing industry of Teesside and the growth in homes of the people who worked there. There are two water treatment plants that it supplies along the Tees. Can you find them? Between them, the two plants can produce around 300 million litres of water a day.

The dam was also one of the first in the world to be built with sensors embedded in it to detect movement. Now all dams in the modern world use this technology.

Although a big success when it was built, supply soon outstripped demand because ICI further developed its chemical plants at Wilton and Billingham. A new, even bigger reservoir was created to cope with this extra demand. Can you find what it is called?

Other resources

Link to Wikipedia page about the reservoir

Visit Cumbria site with lots of information about the reservoir

Website about its construction from the Institute of Engineers

Link to image search for pictures of the reservoir

Bird watching site showing the wildlife there

Official website with info of what’s on and what to do there

Youtube video of the points of interest around the reservoir

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