Colossus of the South 2011.
In 1995 Southern Water built Black Rock, Europe’s largest storm-water storage tunnel under the seafront at Brighton & Hove to stop pollution during storm conditions
@ 4.8km long and 6m in diameter, the retention tunnel stores excessive flows of storm and waste water during heavy loads and after each flooding episode
The combined waste water is then pumped in controllable volume to the waste treatment works at nearby Portobello
Myself & MJS have talked about paying this place a visit for time. Finally the talking was over and we were on our way
After an afternoon and tea with Rooks, we headed out under the cover of darkness
Inside we made our descent over 100ft, down the various ladders & stairways
Once down it really does strike you.... Fuck me this place is Hooj!
(Note the lack of water initially in the dropshafts)
Including 'Eddies Vortex' we managed to see all 4 dropshafts
Next we headed West, where the second vortex could be seen, beyond that there was a seemingly never ending section of stoopy RCP which we eventually gave up on in favour of seeing better stuff
Next, we headed East in search of more features, we noticed that the water level had dropped a good few inches which was a relief, although the tunnel was still quite wet & slippy we proceeded with caution
Having spent a considerable amount of time walking about, we chilled for 10 mins, grabbed a few people shots and carried on towards the next dropshaft
We seemed to have walked an absolute age without seeing anything new, as MJS shone his torch up the tunnel all we could see was more 'crete
Knowing that 'Eddies Vortex' was somewhere in the distance we pressed on, the walkway was now dry and made walking much easier
After around 5 minutes I heard an almighty roar coming from behind us which was odd, as aside from the usual drain noises it had been fairly quiet up until this point
"hey man somethings not right, you reckon it's raining hard above us, as it sounds like a shit tonne of water is about to come down that pipe"
I think it's fair to say we both required a change of undies at this point, which was made worse by the fact that the once dry tunnel now appeared to be filling up fast with surface water (GULP)!
Despite my foot still being fooked we both ran as fast as we could in a desperate attempt to find refuge. 15 minutes later and we finally arrived at 'Eddies' which was now in full flow
We clambered up the ladders to the first gantry level and got all our gear up safe and away from the main tunnel
10 minutes later I headed back down to check the levels, which were still rising
Before & After
(It's worth noting that the entire system can fill to capacity in 30 minutes)
We reluctantly grabbed our cameras for a few shots each down below before making our way to safety at the top of the vortex
In the end a good hour of faffing about before making our way back out
Much Lulz were had as we both emerged, scaring the living shit out of the local doggers who literally ran like fuck!
5 Hours of WIN, it was good to be back above ground, where it was obvious it had been pissing down
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