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Report - Fleet Storm Relief, London 2014 - 2015.

Discussion in 'UK Draining Forum' started by Ojay, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    Fleet Storm Relief, London

    header.jpg

    There is one problem with rivers, they are prone to flooding..

    And so, the Fleet Storm Relief Sewer was built in the 1875 in order to give extra capacity to the Fleet Sewer


    The Fleet mainline is one amazing system having completed it from top to bottom

    But I'd always dismissed the storm relief as being somewhat uneventful having poked here and there

    Sure it's not as feature packed, but what it does have to offer is pretty cool in it's own rights

    ..And let's not forget it is a relief sewer after all


    I'd made a few trips down here on and off with TheVicar and once a bit of the upstream section with adders

    The usual excuse of work, weather and other distractions meant I'd stuck this on the back burner


    A short distance from Camden Town station is the first interaction with the Fleet Storm Relief

    Here, it also interacts with the High Level Storm Relief

    1.jpg


    Below ground a large diameter brick pipe carries spill flows

    At this point it's known as the Fleet Storm Relief Extension
    (North of the Middle Level No.2 Interceptor looking at the main drainage map)

    2.jpg


    Just before the ML No.2, is another CSO which drops into the storm relief from the Fleet Mainline

    3.jpg

    4.jpg


    The upstream stretch lacks any real features,
    so on a follow up visit we nipped down a lid upstream of St. Pancras/Kings Cross

    Finding a lid that isn't located in a road proved difficult

    The few side entry ones that do exist boast a rather neat looking spiral staircase to the relief sewer below

    It goes without saying, polystyrene balls 20m up in a manhole shaft means business!

    5.jpg


    Once down, we dropped back into the 8ft yellow RBP,
    the invert here constructed of a tougher engineering brick for good measure

    6.jpg


    A short distance down, construction changed to a 6ft GRP for the next 60m as it passes below St. Pancras

    GRP = a nightmare to traverse, as slippery as hell
    Thankfully it wasn't long before we were back in the large diameter brick pipe

    Further down, a more recent connection to the Fleet Mainline via a modern looking overflow within a large concrete drop shaft

    7.jpg


    To better explain this, I'll drop in a couple of bits from the thread I originally covered on the Fleet Mainline..


    The course of the Fleet was diverted in 2004,
    as construction was undertaken for the Eurostar rail link below St. Pancras International Station


    8.jpg


    An older connection to the storm relief downstream of Kings Cross was bricked up and replaced at this point

    Either side of the sewer, raised spillways lead to a 5ft RCP,
    which in turn connects back to the newer drop shaft as shown further above ^^

    9.jpg


    Continuing the journey back in the Fleet Storm Relief, the 8ft RBP continues on downstream without change,
    with the occasional manhole chiming from the traffic above

    In fact I only saw one other side entry on this stretch, which would be a concern if it started to rain!


    Eventually we arrived at a junction below Gray's Inn Road

    10.jpg


    It was at this point, when we originally ventured down this stretch adders wandered off up the spur on the right

    29.jpg

    With TheVicar and myself, busy waving torches about and taking pics we lost all track of time

    ..what seemed like an age was probably about 5-10 mins in reality

    And there it was, a loud rush of water,
    it was a brown underpants moment for all concerned, and in the distance adders making a run for it

    Unbeknown to us, he had managed to escape to the safety of a manhole shaft hence his light going dead..

    After a minute or so, no obvious wall of water,
    however there was now a steady flow of clean(ish) looking water heading our way

    We had no choice but to head up the pipe as unsure of adders whereabouts

    Eventually, he re-appeared and we both breathed a sigh of relief

    Around 50m upstream of said manhole shaft was a small tumbling bay,
    the flow of water was no longer present so we assumed it came from upstream ?

    Not wanting to hang about I grabbed a quick pic and we bailed..

    11.jpg


    As I looked up into the spillway above I instantly recognised where we were

    Quickly packing up, having heard the racket previously from the Fleet Mainline was a concern

    Of course we were now eager to solve the phenomenon that had caught others out too, but not tonite!


    Here is the overflow looking back down from the Fleet Mainline

    12.jpg


    4 Large apertures allow any spill flows when at capacity to be diverted to the Storm Relief below..

    13.jpg

    14.jpg


    Some 8 months later TheVicar and I decided to head back and check out the downstream stretch

    However the mystery of the intermittent discharge got the better of us and needed putting to bed

    In the end it turned out to be a 400m side pipe which lets rip approx every 15-20 mins

    Beyond which appeared to be some kind of holding tank with a deep looking pit below,
    there was also a glimpse of a ladder..

    I'm still not sure what the deal was with this setup and probably never will

    The real annoyance being that this was the only point the GoPro wasn't recording, so sadly no pics :(

    We did however head up the tumbling bay and beyond, for a good distance before turning back

    Having looked at the main drainage map,
    it appears to be a stretch of overflow which serves a branch of the Fleet heading up Caledonia Rd

    15.jpg


    On the final trip, I headed downstream with TheVicar to fill in a few more gaps from a previous outing..

    16.jpg


    The last stretch passes below Farringdon, close to New Fetter Lane, before heading down towards Blackfriars

    17.jpg


    Further down the regular trickle from the rising water table which runs through the system is carried away

    It eventually exits via a small tumbling bay, and around the corner to the Low Level No.2 Interceptor below

    18.jpg


    Beyond the dam board, is the final stretch towards the Thames

    *Note the tidal fudge;
    Even though this is a couple of hundred metres upstream, it backfills from the Thames at high tide

    19.jpg


    Further down you can see the water springing through the wall of the Storm Relief

    20.jpg


    Beyond this,
    2 apertures on the L.H.S heading downstream allow spill flows from the Fleet Mainline near to the Interceptor

    21.jpg


    2 x 6ft brick pipes lead to a small overflow chamber, where two valves are used to divert the flow

    22.jpg


    Ahead, a ladder leads up to the surface and also a walkway which curves round and ends with an iron wall

    23.jpg


    Further down the relief widens to a good 10ft as the pipe splits and heads towards the Outfall Chamber

    24.jpg


    Looking back upstream..

    25.jpg


    Both splits are identical and stop short of 2 reasonable sized valves (flaps)

    26.jpg


    These are located the other side in an intermediate overflow chamber that serves the Fleet Storm Relief,
    before entering the main Outfall Chamber..

    27.jpg


    And finally the Outfall Chamber below Blackfriars,
    which deals with flows from the storm relief and the Fleet Mainline and Low Level No.2 when at capacity

    28.jpg

    Not forgetting the entire downstream section is tidal, and backfills a good distance,
    the tide was indeed turning, time to pack up and bail

    Thanks for looking :)

     
  2. anubis

    anubis 28" Member
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    Epic! Love that spiral stone staircase.
     
  3. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Always love reading these reports of yours mate, & the Victorian sewer designs are something to behold even on screen .
    Would love to see some of these but that's never gonna happen ;) respect to you lads
    Great photos...... credit where it's due ;)
     
  4. paulpowers

    paulpowers Massive Member
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    Stunning pics, I will get down to Landan at some point
     
  5. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Brilliant write up and pictures (as usual).
     
  6. TheVicar

    TheVicar Loyal to the Drain
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    Great stuff Ojay! You beat me to it with a report. :)
    Those shots have come out beautifully.
    Do you want me to add my photos to this thread or post up a new one?
     
  7. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    Always good to see people takes on stuff @TheVicar stick a thread up mate, look forward to seeing your pics :)
     
  8. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    post a new one please mate, there's always the danger that replies get lost during archiving.
     
  9. TheVicar

    TheVicar Loyal to the Drain
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    Yes, good point OT!
    I forgot about replies being pruned when the threads get archived.
     
  10. The Kwan

    The Kwan Easily Led
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    Lovely images and interesting write up Ojay, some of those doors, flaps and holding pit look like a watery grave potential....enjoyed reading this :)
     
  11. Adders

    Adders living in a cold world
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    Nice one fella! Definitely not a fan of this place after that harrowing 100m sewer dash, fearing a wall of water was chasing me.
     
    Ojay likes this.
  12. norfolkexplorer

    norfolkexplorer av u seen my marbels
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    Spot on.. Love this a lot
     
  13. Oort

    Oort The Spice Must Flow.
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    Another awesome drain! I'm really digging the colourful brickwork and of course that amazing spiral staircase.
     
  14. Nickindroy

    Nickindroy A Porky Prime Cut
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    Excellent (always are though!) :thumb QdLzUoA.gif
     
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  15. wellingtonian

    wellingtonian Subterráneo
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    Top report once again Ojay. Really enjoyed reading this. :thumb
     
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