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On 21 November 2012 the Grand Western Canal suffered a serious breach and millions of litres of water escaped into adjacent fields. A team of civil engineers, contractors and local residents spent 12 hours installing emergency dams to stem the flow.
Five years on the canal is back to its former glory and a number of back up installations have been provided to ensure the Canal Manager has better control of water levels in times of excessive rainfall.
The reinstatement works were completed in time for the Canal 200th anniversary in 2014 whilst minor improvement and resilience works continued until 2017'. One of our region's Fellows, Kevin Dentith, will describe the repair works and measures taken to reduce the chances of another breach happening in the future.
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Kevin Dentith is a Chief Engineer with Devon County Council and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers with over 30 years' experience in bridges and structures. In November 2012 Kevin was a Principal Engineer in the County's Bridge asset management team when the Grand Western Canal water levels rose alarmingly due to a long and sustained period of rainfall – as head of the Council's specialist access team Kevin was called out along with his engineer colleague, Simon Hollyer, to deal with what was looking like a catastrophic failure of the 200 year old canal.