Water Powers Industry

In the early 19th century it was water that powered the industry of West Edinburgh driving numerous mills in Balerno, Currie, Juniper Green and further downstream in Edinburgh. The Harlaw and Threipmuir Reservoirs were constructed by the Edinburgh Water Company, around 1847, as compensation reservoirs to regulate the flow of water into Bavelaw Burn and from there into the Water of Leith.  On its way from Harlaw to Leith the water still flows over many of the weirs that were created to manage the water and enable it to be used by up to 70 water wheels.  If you look carefully you can still see the remains of some of the lades used to channel the water from the weirs to the individual mills.  More information on this is available at the Water of Leith centre.

The reservoirs now form an important part of the City of Edinburgh flood prevention scheme and are owned by the City of Edinburgh Council. The water within the reservoir is managed by the City’s Flood Prevention and River Flow Management Team. The Ranger Station and paths around the reservoir are managed by the Pentland Hills Regional Park which is supported by Midlothian and City of Edinburgh Councils.