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WATCH: See inside giant Victorian underground reservoir in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 13:30 16 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:14 16 October 2019

Stunning archways and brickwork in Anglian Water's Victorian treated water underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Stunning archways and brickwork in Anglian Water's Victorian treated water underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2019

Have you ever wondered what the inside of an underground reservoir looks like?

Stunning archways and brickwork in Anglian Water's Victorian treated water underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYStunning archways and brickwork in Anglian Water's Victorian treated water underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Despite being hugely important to day-to-day life in Norwich, the 150-year-old Lakenham reservoir spends most of its life undisturbed by humans.

But every 10 years inspectors from Anglian Water climb down into the depths to drain, examine and clean the reservoir - and Wednesday, October 16 was the day chosen for this decade's inspection.

The reservoir is not open to visitors, so these videos and pictures are a unique opportunity for the people of Norwich to explore one of the city's architectural marvels.

Nik Shelton, from Anglian Water, labelled it an "absolutely beautiful structure" which was still in great condition despite its ripe age.

Stunning archways and brickwork in Anglian Water's Victorian treated water underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYStunning archways and brickwork in Anglian Water's Victorian treated water underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"When it was built it was an absolute feat of Victorian engineering," he said.

"Once every 10 years we drain it down and we give it a good thorough inspection, a real thorough clean and then it gets filled back up again and goes back into supply, so [this is] a very rare opportunity to have a look inside an amazing bit of Victorian engineering underneath Norwich."

Built in 1871, the Lakenham reservoir is the basin into which all Norwich's water pours after it has come from the River Wensum and been treated at the Heigham Water Treatment Works, and from which it is pumped out to supply the city.

It was built to, and still does, supply Norwich's residents with drinking water.

Neil Adcock, left, reservoir inspecting engineer, and Ed Richardson, supply support manager, under the stunning archways and brickwork in Anglian Water's Victorian treated water underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYNeil Adcock, left, reservoir inspecting engineer, and Ed Richardson, supply support manager, under the stunning archways and brickwork in Anglian Water's Victorian treated water underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mr Shelton said the cleanliness of the water helps keep the structure relatively clean, but that regular inspections and deep cleans were important to keep it "in tip-top condition".

Stunning archways and brickwork in Anglian Water's Victorian treated water underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYStunning archways and brickwork in Anglian Water's Victorian treated water underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Stunning archways and brickwork in Anglian Water's Victorian treated water underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYStunning archways and brickwork in Anglian Water's Victorian treated water underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Stunning archways and brickwork in Anglian Water's Victorian treated water underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYStunning archways and brickwork in Anglian Water's Victorian treated water underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Stunning archways and brickwork in Anglian Water's Victorian treated water underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYStunning archways and brickwork in Anglian Water's Victorian treated water underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Stunning archways and brickwork in Anglian Water's Victorian treated water underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYStunning archways and brickwork in Anglian Water's Victorian treated water underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Neil Adcock, left, reservoir inspecting engineer, and Ed Richardson, supply support manager, under the stunning archways and brickwork in Anglian Water's Victorian treated water underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYNeil Adcock, left, reservoir inspecting engineer, and Ed Richardson, supply support manager, under the stunning archways and brickwork in Anglian Water's Victorian treated water underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The outside of Anglian Water's Victorian underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe outside of Anglian Water's Victorian underground reservoir in Norwich, which has been emptied for inspection. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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