Belt-and-braces approach for ten-year check for Lochan
Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) has appointed a dive team to carry out a check of the Glencoe Lochan sluice gate ahead of a mandatory ten-year inspection next month.
The move comes ahead of an external consultant carrying out the formal inspection - as required under the Reservoirs (Scotland) Act 2011 - and aims to prevent a repeat of the mishap earlier this year, which saw the sluice gate jam open and the lochan drained.
All reservoirs are risk rated depending on the level of threat posed to human life, property or critical infrastructure if the reservoir was to fail. Glencoe Lochan is classed as high-risk.
Scheduled for October, the formal inspection consists of a visual inspection of the dam and reservoir and manual testing of the sluice gate, opening it fully to allow a ‘full-force’ flow of water through the channel and gate before closing it.
Julie Wilby, FLS’ Area Civil Engineer, said;
“Following on from our experience earlier this year when a routine check resulted in the sluice gate being jammed open, we are taking a belt and braces approach for this formal, ten year inspection.
“Depending on visual conditions the divers should hopefully allow us to understand the immediate risk of debris blocking the sluice gate.
“There is still the possibility that despite these precautions the sluice gate might jam open but we are doing everything we reasonably can to prevent that from happening.
“And we will also have the relevant expertise and plant equipment on standby to clear the debris, just in case.“
Ten years of routine, annual checks have been carried out by FLS without incident until the accident earlier this year, that saw loose debris jam open the sluice gate and causing the lochan to drain.
The lochan is now back to its former condition.
The formal inspection has been brought forward 7 months to October this year so as not to cause any disturbance to local wildlife during the 2024 breeding season.
Updates on progress will be advertised on local signage and social media.
Notes to editors
Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) manages forests and land owned by Scottish Ministers in a way that supports and enables economically sustainable forestry; conserves and enhances the environment; delivers benefits for people and nature; and supports Scottish Ministers in their stewardship of Scotland's national forests and land.