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Report - North Western Storm Relief, London - 2013 - 2014

Discussion in 'UK Draining Forum' started by Ojay, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
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    North Western Storm Relief, London

    1a.jpg

    I've done a fair amount of storm drains up and down the country over the years mostly without incident, however there is something about London storm drains that scares the shit out of me

    Even when it hasn't been raining it's been known for these places to overflow

    Last year, I dropped into the North Eastern Storm Relief when it hadn't been raining, it was going mental and certainly not somewhere to step foot in (see video clip below)

    (I've also had a few close encounters in the Westbourne & Ranelagh)

    [video=youtube_share;STVqc8Ord4M]http://youtu.be/STVqc8Ord4M]ORLY - YouTube[/video]


    The other thing to bear in mind is the absence of manholes

    Most of these have tide flaps, which can only be opened from above and that's if you're lucky enough to find one that doesn't require some serious hardware to shift

    I've heard all sorts of tales over the years and it's enough to put the casual tourist off I'm sure, but I figured we weren't going to see this stuff first hand unless we got off our arses

    In the end a few trips were made; mainly looking for lids and also having to abort due to adverse weather

    Myself and GAJ went in search of lids last year and soon worked out some convenient locations to drop into the system

    We later returned with Adders in an attempt to traverse this massive storm relief

    Sadly on the night in question it pissed it down, the Mid Level Sewer was at capacity and the North Kensington Relief Sewer we dropped into was in full flow (It's normally dry)

    It was to be almost a year before myself and GAJ returned, this time during a dry spell to minimize risk of flooding and drowning in a torrent of shyte

    I'd also made a visit to the end chamber with GE, which is a huge 4m storage tunnel and interacts with the Hammersmith Storm Relief and eventually outfalls into the Thames

    The downstream section was fairly grim, and no way out if anything was to go wrong :eek:


    We dropped in at Notting Hill

    2.jpg


    Ahead, a short set of stairs (8 steps) lead down to the Middle Level Sewer No.1 - Constructed circa 1861

    3.jpg

    4.jpg


    From the brick chamber we dropped in above, a ladder drops us into a a side entry tunnel and a set of steps lead down into the North Kensington Relief Sewer

    The last time I stood at the entry point on the right, you couldn't see the invert and the tumbling bay was going :crazy

    5.jpg


    A 5′ RBP heads West and eventually interacts with the NWSR

    The tumbling bay on the right carry's discharge from the Middle Level Sewer No.1 (as seen above)

    6.jpg


    MLS1

    Contained by a low dam board weir at the top of the tumbling bay

    7.jpg


    Further downstream, the NWSR intersects the NKRS

    (The continuation on the right eventually leads to the Wood Lane Sewer)

    8.jpg


    We carried on upstream of this significant junction, through a 7' 6" brick barrel which was added in 1924

    And later we headed downstream from here towards the outfall

    For anyone who hasn't already seen it, here's a proper explanation of the junction > Anatomy of a Junction: Two | London Sewers & London's Main Drainage | sub-urban.com


    Looking upstream from the junction, we headed North past Notting Hill towards Paddington

    9a.jpg


    We walked upstream of the NWSR for a good 15 mins, it was pretty featureless until we came across another overflow from the Mid Level Interceptor

    (Here it is looking down the tumbling bay, from the MLS2 overflow)

    10.jpg


    Again the NWSR is conveyed further upstream, the next significant junction being a concrete/brick split

    The newer concrete pipe on the left of the split, continues upstream to Kilburn, where it meets it's source, the Ranelagh Sewer

    11.jpg


    The 1924 brick continuation on the right hand side of the storm relief, leads to another CSO which serves the Ranelagh sewer

    Here a tumbling bay leads up-to the overflow chamber, the left side pipe also serves a drop piece from the same overflow

    12.jpg


    The Ranelagh sewer runs behind this single sided weir, discharging at capacity to the storm relief below

    13.jpg


    Some strange looking fungus growing from the brickwork ahead of the drop-shaft to the NWSR below

    14.jpg


    Beyond the overflow weir, the Ranelagh sewer runs left to right

    15.jpg

    16.jpg


    We made our way back to the junction at Notting Hill and headed downstream..

    17.jpg


    Here, the NWSR drops down a further tumbling bay and continues South towards the Thames at Hammersmith

    18.jpg


    A 9' 6" RCP heads South below West Kensington, this ramp features under Hollands Park Rd

    19.jpg


    Traversing the sizeable RCP towards Hammersmith proved difficult after this pic, as it was backed up with detritus from a previous flooding

    It was getting late so we headed back upstream and out

    20.jpg


    I'd also covered the downstream section with GE, including the end chamber at Hammersmith

    The first lid we chose was useless as the tidal flap below had seized, try as we might it wouldn't budge :banghead

    Another lid dropped us in and was far from ideal as we stooped under a partially closed Penstock and bent double for 30m in a 4ft connecting pipe

    21.jpg


    The 4 gas was twitching, as pockets of H2S and CH4 were bubbling up from beneath my feet, I made it back into the NWSR and GE followed

    We were soon stood in the final stretch of the NWSR, it was pretty grim and not somewhere you would wish to be stuck at high tide or during adverse weather :eek:

    22.jpg


    We continued down towards the Thames, it did get a bit cleaner as we progressed

    23.jpg


    Thanks to Siologen for explaining the end chamber, which he describes as a 'reverse overflow'

    This 4m waterfall backs-up with :turd when at capacity and outfalls into the Thames, likewise at high tide the Thames spills into the storage tunnel via the waterfall

    24.jpg
     

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  2. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Really interesting Ojay, stunning shots there as well :thumb
     
  3. catbalou

    catbalou off the wall
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    An excellent read there, and same goes for the photos. Fab stuff :thumb
     
  4. Bugsuperstar

    Bugsuperstar Irresponsible & Reckless
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    Enjoyed reading that mate. Thanks.
     
  5. The Kwan

    The Kwan Easily Led
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    This looks like a lovely system but dont like the idea of the water depth marker right the way up to the manhole and I definately dont like the sound of tide flaps :(. Excellent pictures though, really nice features!
     
  6. soylent green

    soylent green 28DL Regular User
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    Fantastic report ojay! Great write up and images:)
     
  7. paulpowers

    paulpowers Massive Member
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    Lovely stuff

    Liking the brick porn :D
     
  8. Els

    Els Obsessed with BS7671
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    Nice set - really need to do some of this stuff myself.
     
  9. Leeds(Ex)plorer

    Leeds(Ex)plorer 28DL Regular User
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    some stunning brickwork down there! nice read as always
     
  10. OverArch

    OverArch 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Great report and pics on a place I will NEVER see myself! Always above ground for me!!
     
  11. raisinwing

    raisinwing 28DL Regular User
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    Awesome bricks in there!

    Nice work dude.
     
  12. Seffy

    Seffy Bally up!
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    Brick porn indeed... Top write as always fella, love it :)
     
  13. tumbles

    tumbles Trip Hopping
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    Sewer Flaps :laugh

    Great stuff, real lovely Victorian brick work!
     
  14. wellingtonian

    wellingtonian Subterráneo
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    Interesting read Ojay. Stunning snaps too.
     
  15. Squirrell 911

    Staff Member Admin

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    Yeah, looks alright. :)
     
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