Going with the Flow

Caerphilly County Borough Council engineers set about tackling some water flow problems

Darrren Road Culvert with new trash grating Feb 2023
Darrren Road Culvert with new trash grating Feb 2023

The lack of water in the Crumlin Arm has been an ongoing problem for some time. MBACT has been having regular discussions with the canal owners, Newport City Council and Caerphilly County Borough Council, about this issue.

The main water-feed for the whole Crumlin Arm section of canal is at the very end of the canal at Cwmcarn, where it is fed from the Carn Brook. A mile and a half south of this location the canal is culverted at The Darren Road, Risca. Last summer we identified a problem here, where this partially-blocked culvert was allowing a significant volume of water to be discharged down the Medarts Place “Dragons Teeth” overflow weir; thereby substantially reducing water flows east towards Newport. Upon investigation, Caerphilly County Borough Council engineers found that the long section of culverted canal at this location had settled due to subsidence and, as a consequence, had a 70% flow restriction. We are now pleased to report that the culvert has been repaired and a new trash grill and a penstock valve also fitted to help prevent any future blockages and better manage water levels. The work should allow more water to travel east to Newport where it it is desperately needed.

In addition to this work, Caerphilly CBC is also about to commence silt removal at problem locations on this section, work which should last around 4 weeks. This should not only help water flow but also make the canal channel navigable again for its 1.5 miles from Cwmcarn to The Darren. We are currently exploring options with Caerphilly CBC for the installation of a new slipway to replace the old one which had to be removed during recent channel re-lining works. We well remember boats moored along this section of the canal in the past – the MBACT canal events held, the trips run by the Jemima Morris Trip Boat, and the launching of the Islwyn Lily Trip Boat, now moored at Whysoms Wharf. We look forward to the reinstatement of this section of canal as a boating location.

Our wholehearted thanks go to Caerphilly CBC for responding so positively to our concerns.

Islwyn Lily and Canal Boat Tearoom at Whysom's Wharf
Islwyn Lily and Canal Boat Tearoom at Whysom’s Wharf
© Copyright M J Roscoe
Jemima Morris boat on the canal at Trail Boat Cwmcarn 2001
Jemima Morris at Trail Boat Cwmcarn 2001

Photo of the Islwyn Lily © Copyright M J Roscoe and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.