Water Level Update
Although we have seen the water level rising in recent weeks, unfortunately the water is still too low for launching keelboats on the hoist.
To achieve launching the water level needs to rise by approximately another two metres. This ‘launching level’ is clearly marked, by coincidence, by the wide concrete band of flat bricks seen in the bank layers about 15 bricks from the top water mark (the top water marked by plant growth).
The overall water pumping control is with the Environment Agency (EA) who manage all water interest on the Thames river, with Thames Water as the river’s largest client. The EA have consistently held back Thames from pumping in and there has been a consistent message that it is not to do with the bund removal. Other reservoirs are experiencing similar issues to us.
We are and have been in good communications with Thames Water. This now includes a water height text service as the water level changes, currently 19.84 meters. We have set up a bi-monthly meeting with Thames Water for all operational issues.
The answer to the launching question ‘when will be able to launch?’ is that we don’t know.
Launching was raised at the recent AGM:
While I am sure you will all recognise that the level is an issue entirely beyond our control, we do recognise that it is frustrating for keelboat sailors not to be able to get their boats on the water. We have cleared mud from the hoist tracks and repositioned sandbags to stop more mud collecting there so the hoist can operate to its full extent. This can’t be increased since the rails are already at the end of the usable concrete blocks, beyond which is only mud. We want keelboat members to be able to continue sailing so Club boats are at their disposal to book and use at no charge whilst keelboats are landlocked. I am pleased to say the level is now rising rapidly and we are optimistic that launching via the hoists will soon be possible. I should stress that it is extremely unusual for the water level to remain low for so long. Council will be reviewing the situation at its next meeting; we will keep keelboat members informed of progress and any further developments
It is a great frustration. We hope this helps explain the current situation and will keep you up to date with developments.