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Report - Bradford Draining Trip - March 2009

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by TheVicar, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. TheVicar

    TheVicar Loyal to the Drain
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    I’d been looking forward to this two day draining explore with Little Mike for the last few days. After meeting up in Bradford and scoffing a Subway, it was time to enter the infall of Macro.
    After negotiating the two waterfalls just before the infall, the journey through Macro began. After a reasonable length of dual concrete box, we arrived at the GPT chamber which is impassable due to depth and CCTV coverage. Just before the GPT, the beck splits in two with the left hand side running under a low concrete slot about 18 inches high. The right hand side runs down a slippery slope into the GPT. Once down the slope it was a case of heaving over a ‘window’ in the wall and continuing along the beck from the other side of the slot.

    From here there are many interesting shape changes, twists and turns plus the occasional open section until we arrive at the Cathedral section. I didn’t take any photos here but instead we headed up the junction where the Bowling Beck named Academy joins Macro.

    This was an initially stoopy section until it opened out into what must have been a 10 foot RCP. Further up on the left was a 6 foot concrete pipe made from bolted together sections and a nice flat concrete floor which lead up to a 4 foot red brick tunnel straight ahead. At the end of this tunnel was a CSO chamber with a processor. We were just in a manhole chamber a few yards away when we heard the sound of machinery starting and initially feared the worst. However after climbing a ladder to get above the tunnel, nothing seemed to be occurring, and an inspection of the CSO chamber revealed pumps to be removing water from a holding tank.

    Further on at the end of the Academy, lay something I’d not seen before - A huge CSO chamber with multiple processors at the other side of a 6 foot wall which then formed a long corridor acting as a sewer overflow storage tank leading up to another massive CSO.

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    Another hour or more was spent continuing downstream Macro before exiting at a convenient spot and retiring for the day for a nice curry and a pint.


    The next day, after another Subway, was back into Macro slightly further downstream from our exit the previous day.

    Infall downstream of Bypass:

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    From here was a debris strewn journey to the huge and impressive double arched outfall stopping midway to inspect the sump room / pit of death, before returning upstream to head up Bypass.

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    I think Bypass has to be my favourite part of the Bradford system, despite being an all concrete drain. It's massive, clean, void of debris and just different!

    This shows the junction of Macro (left) and Bypass (right):

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    As you travel further up Bypass, the deeper you are underground, and the concrete box changes to a 12 ft RCP.

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    After about a mile, you approach the big slide - a most impressive feature.
    The top of the big slide is on the other side of the GPT which we avoided the previous day.

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    Finally, continuing straight ahead from the top of the slide leads down a slippy box section to a 8 foot RCP which eventually leads to Pandora's infamous slot. Before reaching the slot, to the right is a 5 foot RCP which leads to the most interesting and involved CSO chamber I have seen. After stooping below the sewer and up two levels, you are presented with a room containing motorised sewage screening machines, an array of control buttons, powerful sodium lights and CCTV cameras pointing at the sewer.

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    From here it was a leisurely stroll back down to the outfall to end what was a great two days draining. :)

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