IT has been a York landmark for 80 years.

But Severus Water Tower, in Acomb, is now to be taken out of service, leaving question marks over the structure's future.

Next week, Yorkshire Water will start work to disconnect the tower, which was at the heart of a city-wide burst mains drama in York last summer.

Last July 18, as temperatures soared, thousands of residents were left without water or with low pressure when 11 mains burst across the city.

A power cut near the water tower had led to the system believing the tower was empty when it was not, leading to it being flooded.

A Yorkshire Water spokeswoman said: "Due to advancements in technology the tower is no longer needed in the management of water supply in the area.

"We must stress the work does not involve altering the structure of the tower, which we appreciate is a well regarded York landmark. We will be bypassing the structure and we do not plan to interrupt customer water supplies during the work."

Local councillors welcomed the project, but were keen to learn what would happen to the site.

Holgate representative Gil Nimmo said: "I understand that once the water tower is taken out of service then another part of Yorkshire Water will make a decision about what to do with it, but this is not anticipated to happen soon. Clearly it is a landmark in the local area, and has a large number of antennae on it, so we shall be making regular enquiries so we can update residents on what is happening."

He said he would keep a watch on the area, as local residents were concerned about the natural habitats near the tower.

He said: "At the moment, the only changes will be underground, which should not affect anyone nearby, although they may have seen some work on trial holes recently."

Westfield councillor Andrew Waller said: "I am pleased to see Yorkshire Water is doing this work. The part of Westfield where I live has seen the water cut off twice in recent years due to problems at the tower.

"On the last occasion, the mains burst at Gale Lane due to peaks in the water pressure. This caused flooding in some homes and supplies were cut off in parts of Cornlands Road. Any measures which make water supplies more reliable are welcome."