Tuel Deep Lock, along with Locks 1 & 2 on the Rochdale Canal at Sowerby Bridge, will be closed for at least two days as a result of the continuing dry period.
Tuel Deep Lock is the deepest lock on the canal system, with a fall of 19' 8½". It replaced Locks 3 and 4 when the canal was restored and its use puts a heavy demand on the pound above. Although the pound is 2.5 miles long, it is not deep and quickly becomes depleted. It is normally topped up by a river feed at Luddenden Foot but, because of the dry weather, BW has been required to stop abstracting this water.
The level of the pound above Tuel Deep Lock has fallen more than expected over the weekend, making it necessary to close the locks below. BW is investigating the cause of the water loss and looking at other ways of feeding water to the area.
It is expected to take several days to restore water levels and BW will issue an update tomorrow evening (6th June). In the meantime, Tuel Deep Lock and Locks 1 and 2 will remain closed.
Maintaining water level on the the pound above Tuel Lane has been an ongoing problem for BW and they have sometimes had to install temporary pumps to back-pump water.
Any enquiries regarding this stoppage should be made to BW on 01782 785703.
Update 6th July:
British Waterways now intends to install "a significant temporary pumping scheme" at Sowerby Bridge but this is unlikely to be in place before the weekend. It is hoped that navigation through Sowerby Bridge can be resumed by Monday 12th July.
Update 8th July:
Work to install the pumping scheme starts Friday 9th July. BW warns that it will now be Tuesday evening (13th July) before the work is completed.
Update 13th July:
The pumps will not be in operation until tomorrow (14th July). BW is hoping to re-open the canal in Sowerby Bridge around midday.
Update 14th July:
The locks through Sowerby Bridge have now re-opened.
Tuel Deep Lock, Rochdale Canal