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Report - Macro Drain/The Academy (Drain) - 17/10/07

Discussion in 'UK Draining Forum' started by LittleMike, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. LittleMike

    LittleMike Do. Find. Drains.
    28DL Full Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    Likes Received:
    OK, so you may have already got sick of hearing of this place, but we certainly haven't got sick of exploring it! Any further trips I imagine we will probably just tack onto the end of this report. (long read ahead again sorry :p).
    I also tried to get a few more photos this time as I always seem to end up with only a few. Some are even point and shoot so sorry about the quality! Dempsey can provide the good stuff :p

    After me suffering freshers flu last weekend for the 5th year in a row, our trip was rescheduled to Wednesday! Me DDT and Dempsey could hardly wait and with good reason it seems! The plan was to start at the infall, snap some photos from the first 1/3, then explore a large branch that joins at the 'cathedral' section. After a rather uneventful start (2 near crashes on the M1, a bit of 'drain inspection' banter with a random official looking guy with a clipboard, and watching an actual car crash approx 5 seconds later) we were at the infall.

    First up we went to check out a rather oversized CSO chamber which we found on the first trip. I'm crap at estimating sizes, but I'd have a guess it was around around 75-100' long, complete with lots of screening machines. Through the middle ran a rather fast flowing sewer, which we stayed well away from (although we couldn't escape the sewerfresh smell and suspicious fog...)

    The giant CSO chamber. One of our search blasters died already at this point :rolleyes:
    Group shot at the exit from the chamber

    After grabbing a few photos we continued downstream to the overflow area, roped our way down the slide, then climbed back up to continue along the main tunnel. We occasionally stopped to check out side pipes (usually me being nominated to crawl through!), but we only found a couple of dead ends.

    The overflow area

    We continued downstream and through the collapsing sections. Here we found a rather strange buildup of foam so DDT and Dempsey decided to have a quick bath to wash off the CSO nastiness! :D
    Rubbish shot from a bit further downstream

    Finally after a nice long walk we reached the impressive cathedral section and the main part of our explore. The drain we're calling "The Academy", according to Uggy (and semi-confirmed by an awful quality map I found), is a culverted section of Bowling Beck. We didn't find any evidence of this, but we certainly didn't explore anything down there and as always, there's more to do!

    It starts off pretty stoopy, 5ft high 10ft wide concrete boxes (x2) causing massive back pain and burning thighs! Fortunately after a bit of commitment we reached a 10-12ft concrete pipe. I have to say this is one of the noisiest places I have ever been. It runs along the route of a major road and trucks passing over manholes at 70mph caused extremely loud booming noises which sounded like the whole earth was shaking!

    Entering the unknown

    After a fairly boring walk down the pipe we reached the first major feature, a decent sized junction with a side tunnel that runs up an impressive flight of steps. I didn't count, but I think there was maybe 10-12 steps in total. The markings on the wall suggested a construction date of 1973. After various girly screams of excitement :gay we made our way to the top. Here we found another junction room, this time with a 5ft brick pipe straight ahead and a brick-arched tunnel leading to the right. We set up here for a few photographs and relaxed for a bit. It was at this point, we heard an extremely loud roaring noise coming from the main pipe at the bottom of the tunnel, we knew it hadn't been raining significantly for many days, and there was blue skies above us, but needless to say it was pretty terrifying. Strangely it stopped after 30 seconds so me and Dempsey slowly walked to the bottom of the stairs to see what had happened. It wasn't long before I suddenly remembered the maps I had looked at, and that we were directly beneath a train line. Oops :eek:

    The junction room at the top of the stairs

    At the top I decided I wanted a torch set up down the 5ft pipe, and while I was up there I thought what the hell, may as well have a quick gander while I'm here. At the end we found another cso chamber with some more mechanical screens, but this time much newer (think it said 1991 on one of them?).

    We grabbed some quick photos in the junction room then had a brief look down the brick arched tunnel. Here I think we found yet another junction with two 6ft (?) rcps, though my memory is a bit hazy here. At this point we were still more interested at the 12 footer so we headed back down the stairs and continued upstream.

    After numerous dexterity tests dodging water pouring in from sidepipes and cracks in the tunnel, we reached an even better set of stairs. This time the steps were much steeper (40 degrees ish) and there was 22 of them! Totally awesome. The markings on the concrete indicated it was constructed in 1996.

    Pretty bad photo looking at the top of the stairs
    OK photo of me at the bottom of the stairs (though Dempsey always has better :p)

    We continued round the corner, up a few more stairs (impressive I guess, but we were kinda spoilt by the last set) and emerged in yet another giant CSO chamber. This one didn't have a sewer running through it, but there was instead a big dry tunnel at the end. In the middle were two small 'plugholes'. DDT said that this was a secondary overflow chamber, ahead would be a normal sewer overflow, which would flow into this chamber for screening. If the water level of the sewer drops before the second chamber overflows, then the excess is pumped back into the sewer via the plugholes preventing contamination of the drain.

    Despite making about 10 attempts at photographing this place, I still failed, so here's a black and white version to cover up the crappiness ;)

    This chamber looked like it had not been used more than a couple of times and didn't smell at all so we decided to climb over the wall at the end and look for the main overflow. It wasn't long before we reached a giant room. The sewer ran behind the back wall and could overflow down 4 waterfalls, through some sort of pool at the bottom (I guess to slow the flow down) and into the chamber. We grabbed a few final photos and then made our long walk back to the exit.

    On the way back we saw some comedy stuff. First was a somewhat amusing fungus...
    ...and then we bumped into a fellow explorer, Dave Trout. We couldn't decide whether he was sleeping or just stunned because of the amazing size of the drain, but in any case he wasn't in our earlier group shot so I took a pic. Dave, if you're reading, pm me if you want your face blurred.

    Yet another 8 hours underground, I love Bradford :D
    Thanks again to DDT and Dempsey for making it a classic day!

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  2. Dempsey

    Dempsey The Human Turbine.
    Regular User

    Nov 3, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Re: Macro Drain/The Academy (Drain) - Report - 17/10/07

    Thats a quality write up! the girly screams bit made me laugh, a lot.

    Probably the least amount of photos i have ever taken, just glad you give a wider view, but heres 3 anyway...

    Exit of the CSO situated just of macro. Really dont know what i was doing.

    same again. Me, littlemike and ddt

    The overflow nearing the end.

    The steps themselves.
    #2 Dempsey, Oct 18, 2007
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2007
  3. uggy

    uggy Guest

    Re: Macro Drain/The Academy (Drain) - Report - 17/10/07

    couple of pics from us on sunday when mike & co. had sniffles and stayed at home. we went anyway for a photographic learning epic.
    flood debris hanging on a metal rod in the roof of the arches
    looking up a manhole on the bypass. there are 4 of these, the first one being wider and not as tall. we had mist problems with cameras and a defunct big light..
    mike- did you see the 110volt festoon lights hanging near the collapse section? hire date was 2005! these werent there last time i visited!

    will post some more pics when dt sends me some


    ps- i dont know an oggy.
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