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Work starts on the dam at Cardiff’s Roath Lake to reduce flooding risk

16 Nov 2021 2 minute read
Picture by Outdoor Cardiff

Alex Seabrook, local democracy reporter

Engineers have begun working on the dam at Roath Lake in Cardiff to reduce the risk of flooding.

Arup is carrying out ground investigations at the southern end of the lake, ahead of major works next year.

Roath Park Lake is a manmade reservoir, formed by a dam structure to the south and fed by the Nant Fawr.

But the waterfall spillway next to the cafe is too small to withstand an ‘extreme flooding event’, thought to become more likely due to the climate crisis.

The work is expected to last two or three works, meaning the promenade along the southern end of the lake will be closed.

Councillor Michael Michael, cabinet member for clean streets, recycling and environment, said: “These short closures are vital for the first phase of investigations to go ahead.”

The current layout of the dam. Picture by Cardiff Council

Engineers will explore options for making sure the dam, which runs underneath the promenade, remains effective at preventing floods. The initial investigations involve digging holes in the dam and alongside the spillway, and studying the makeup of the ground.

After the works, the holes will be levelled out and the surface made to look as it does now. Next year, works could see some trees next to the spillway chopped down, but later replaced. The works are scheduled to run from November next year until late 2023.

Cllr Michael added: “The project as a whole will ensure the future effectiveness of the dam so the park can continue to be enjoyed safely as the impacts of climate change become increasingly obvious.

“We are committed to working with the local community to ensure everyone understands the work involved. As the project progresses, further community information events will be held so residents, businesses, and other stakeholders remain informed and updated about the project.”

More details are available on the project website:

The land for Roath Park was donated to the city in 1887, primarily by the Marquis of Bute. The park was built on 130 acres of bogland and the lake formed by the damming of the Nant Fawr stream.

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