CANAL & River Trust workers were forced to restore the water levels on the Kennet & Avon Canal today (Wed, July 18).

Hundreds of litres of water drained away after problems at Lock 18 near the Barge Inn public house at Seend.

A canal boater passed through the lock on Tuesday evening and left the paddles up, causing this section of canal to drain down.

The paddles work much like a bath plug to allow water to flow in and out of the locks.

A Trust spokesman said: “We became aware first thing this morning and our team set to work to restore the water levels.

“As only one stretch of canal was affected the water levels have now all returned back to normal within a few hours.

“There wasn’t really any impact to boaters or wildlife that we are aware of.

“We managed to fill the canal up fairly quickly and the fish either swam further down the canal with the flow of water or remained in the little pool of water left behind.”

Back in March, more than 700 people attended an open day at Lock 18 to see how it works.

The event was held following repairs and restoration work to locks 17, 18 and 19 as part of a £38 million five-month national maintenance programme.

The charity spent £281,000 on new gates for the locks to ensure they were working smoothly for the busy summer boating season and to help conserve water.