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Megget Reservoir

Megget Dam
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Megget Dam

A large reservoir of the Ettrick Forest in the Scottish Borders, the Megget Reservoir lies on the course of the Megget Water, 2 miles (3 km) west of Cappercleuch and St Mary's Loch and a similar distance east of the smaller Talla Reservoir.

Retained by the largest earth embankment dam in Scotland, the reservoir occupies an area of 259 hectares (640 acres) and contains 64 million tonnes of water. It was completed in 1983 to supply water to Edinburgh and the Lothians, supplementing the older reservoirs, closer to the city, which could no longer meet the demand. It was opened on the 30th September 1983 by Brian Meek, the Convenor of Lothian Regional Council, the main contractor being Whatlings (Civil Engineering) Ltd. The reservoir is now operated by Scottish Water.

Supplying up to 100 million litres (22 million gallons) of water daily, it takes 18 hours for this water to pass through 28-mile (45-km) long underground pipes, propelled only by gravity, to reach water treatment works in and around Edinburgh.

Buildings, including an old ruin, farms and houses were all moved above the proposed new reservoir level, and a large earthfill dam was constructed before the valley was flooded. Located at the eastern end of the reservoir, this embankment comprises a waterproof concrete core, surrounded by gravel and faced by grass-covered terraces.

Wild brown trout thrive in the reservoir having adapted from their life in the streams of the valley floor.


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