The urgent draining and repair works at the waterway known as Paul’s Pond, near Golden Acre Park, came about following the appearance of two sink holes and a survey which revealed extensive leakage through the dam wall.
A new Leeds City Council report, which approves £156,000 of repair work, says: “The leakage extent was such that a breach could happen at any time with 21,000 cubic metres of water and silt being released into an area intensively used for public recreation - Breary Marsh and Golden Acre Park.
“Failure to rectify the leakage problem and leaving the water in Paul’s Pond cannot be ignored as a breach would release 21,000 cubic metres of water.
“This volume of water would endanger the public that visit Breary Marsh and Golden Acre Park, likely to compromise the A660 bridge over Marsh Beck and possibly breach Golden Acre Lake dam and Adel Dam as the water surges down towards Adel.”
The report adds that the work “prevents a potential breach which could lead to loss of life and substantial infrastructure”.
Paul’s Pond is also a home for endangered and protected species which will be relocated while the dam is totally drained and the work is done. These include white-clawed crayfish, fish, swan mussels and red eared terrapins.
Council bosses stress it is “important to re-instate Paul’s Pond as a functional impounded body of water” as it forms part of wider defence measures to control flooding further downstream such as in the Meanwood and Sheepscar industrial and residential areas.