General - - Brown Source, Manchester - Aug 15 | UK Draining Forum | 28DaysLater.co.uk

General - Brown Source, Manchester - Aug 15


28DL Regular User
Regular User
The Moston Brook is formed by the confluence of the Hole Bottom Brook and Bower Brook, both were culverted sometime after 1910. A concrete tunnel was constructed in the 1990s to provide drainage for the M60 with the outfall built alongside the old one.


The outfall grills were clean 6 months ago, this time both had an unhealthy collection of jamrags that showed sewers had been spilling heavily upstream. I spent some time with TunnelMon carefully clearing the right hand grill and we made our way into the tunnel. Due to the entry method I took minimal kit and an old crop camera so the photos aren't my best. To make things worse the lens I was using broke halfway so I couldn't change aparture or focus.





After a brick tunnel on the verge of collapse, a stone section, more brick then a concrete U shaped tunnel we came to the infall for the Hole Bottom Brook. This is backed up behind the infall grill by around a meter and in dire need of unblocking.




A side pipe contributed around half the flow and a load of warm air that was the cause of intermittent fog downstream.





A concrete sewer overflow culvert joined in a modern shaft, following the older tunnel it appeared to shrink down until a staircase revealed itself. This goes up and a pill shaped brick tunnel goes for around 100m, with the newer sewer overflow laid beneath.






The tunnel was bricked up, possibly as a result of work done in the 1980s to infill the tunnel as it passed under the railway.


Back to the split chamber and the other pipe continued for around 170m before coming to a impassible wall with a small hole, by this point we had walked just over 800m from the outfall.




The chamber was built in 2014 to divert flows from a pumping station overflow upstream into a nearby tank. Presumably when the sewer starts to spill the penstock in the wall closes, the tank fills. When it's full the penstock opens to allow spills down the culvert into the brook.

It's said sometimes the source of a river is it's longest tributary, which makes the brick stoopy pipe (Bower Brook?) seen next to the stairs the source. It's difficult to say for sure other than that the Moston Brook is conceived somewhere in this sewery culvert.
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Staff member
Nice, always put off looking at that stretch beyond the grille

Here is a pic from the upstream sewer overflow taken in 2013 before they upgraded it all and installed that tank at Hollinwood



28DL Full Member
That looks very good. Not really been into these tunnels but that could tempt me to take a look well done ..

Choo Choo m8ty

Mr Reality Hacker
Regular User
Nice. Looks an interesting one thanks for the report and nice pics


Staff member
The original CSO chamber was basic.. Single sided weir and a mesh filter that I'm stood on in that pic

As for writing stuff up, a combination of CBA and lack of time has prevented me from sticking much up these day's

Some decent pics considering the conditions, keep 'em coming :thumb

green godess

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Small wonder that there's so much localised flooding when things get bad. Just look at that choked and blocked-up grill, maybe the local water authorities should pay an honorarium to our intrepid and tenacious explorers, for discovering such dreadful blockages, that will eventually cause trouble !


28DL Regular User
Regular User
We were talking in the drain about if the Council or Utility Company was responsible for the infall, probably the Council as it's a watercourse.

I know the later keeps a close eye on what we do. It's important to always give the upmost respect to drains so incorrect conclusions shouldn't be drawn.
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Staff member
The environmental agency visit here quite regular as it goes and United Utilities inspect the majority of their assets at least once a month with the exception of pumping stations which are more frequent for obvious reasons


Loyal to the Drain
Regular User
Top stuff!
Glad to know the weather held out enough for you to get this done safely.
There is quite a lot more to this drain beyond those grills than I had imagined.
Well worth the effort and pics aren't bad at all despite old camera with knackered lens. :D