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Report - - Earl Pumping Station (aka Screwed) – London – February 2022 | UK Draining Forum | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Earl Pumping Station (aka Screwed) – London – February 2022


TheVicar

Loyal to the Drain
Regular User
Explored late one evening with Ojay and Tallginge.

There’s not an enormous amount to be seen in this drain but it was well worth visiting nonetheless.
We entered the system by a lid that dropped into the 6ft diameter Rotherhithe Sewer, built in 1965. This sewer flows serenely and quietly during dry weather.
The first pic is courtesy of Tallginge and shows a pair of overflows along the Rotherhithe sewer.

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Inconveniently, there are no step irons or ladders down from the sewer into the overflow chambers so we had to carefully lower ourselves (drop down) into the space below.
The two overflows join up below and lead a short way into a more modern (built 1938) and larger (8.5ft) mainly concrete pipe which we were intending to traverse.

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Firstly, heading west and upstream, the pipe only goes a short distance where it ends abruptly.


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Here, the Earl Street sewer pours its filth into the tunnel from a northerly direction.

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Turning back around to look downstream.

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In between where we entered from the Rotherhithe sewer and the Earl Street sewer is another concrete tunnel which leads off some distance to the west. We didn’t have time to look at this but Tallginge had done on a previous occasion and recalled that there wasn’t much to see.


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Passing the way we came in and wandering down the pipe a hundred yards or so, the water level got deeper and soon was close to the limit of mine and Ojay’s thigh waders.
We were keen to progress further to see below the pumping station but were rather reluctant to fill our waders full of shite. Tallginge, sensibly equipped with chesties, soldiered on ahead to see how much further it was to the end.

After a few minutes of waiting for him, the sudden sound of thundering pumps echoed down the tunnel from ahead. Within a few seconds it became apparent that the water level in the tunnel had started to reduce. After waiting a short while, the level was sufficient for us to continue downstream until we got to the pumping station.

This is the pipe as it enters the chamber below the pumping station.
You can see the wet tide mark where the water level was only minutes earlier.

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Ahead is a very heavily jamrag and wetwipe encrusted grille which covers a pipe leading further into the pumping station.


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At the top of the ladder is a viewing window to look at the Archimedes screws which pump the water up to a higher level.
From here it currently goes into the Southern Low Level Number 1 Sewer but in due course will be discharged into the new Thames Tideway tunnel once the project is complete.

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Shortly after looking at the screws, the rotating one stopped and all was quiet.
At this point we should have headed back where we came from while the water level was low but hung about to admire the place while the water level steadily rose to wader breaching heights.
Having seen all there was to see here, and in hindsight, as interesting as it was to look at the Archimedes screws; we didn’t anticipate waiting about 2 hours until one of them finally sprung into life, allowing us to make our exit without dipping the old meat and two veg into the poo stew.

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All in all, a nice little impromptu trip after a very long break from drains!


 

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tallginge

more tall than ginger tho.....
Regular User
Oh the quandary we were in! Leave immediately and hope we stayed dry or wait it out and give ourselves the best chance of not breeching. I mean, i like drains but the later we left it the less flow to switch the screws on and nearly two hours watchin the level slowly rise was a bit much. Maybe we'll check tide times next time eh hahaha.

Anyway, this is the bit we didn't walk up to.

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This is before tideway put a big steel pipe in place of the grille

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From the other side of the grille. Not sure if this still exists. Can't see it from inside the steel pipe. Storm flows go through to Earl Pumping Station and then to Father Thames

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You can climb up the screws. Not safely obviously.....

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Good times mate. Glad you and ojay persevered despite the risk of a soggy meat and two veg......
 

TheVicar

Loyal to the Drain
Regular User
Oh the quandary we were in! Leave immediately and hope we stayed dry or wait it out and give ourselves the best chance of not breeching. I mean, i like drains but the later we left it the less flow to switch the screws on and nearly two hours watchin the level slowly rise was a bit much. Maybe we'll check tide times next time eh hahaha.

Anyway, this is the bit we didn't walk up to.

View attachment 941426

This is before tideway put a big steel pipe in place of the grille

View attachment 941427

From the other side of the grille. Not sure if this still exists. Can't see it from inside the steel pipe. Storm flows go through to Earl Pumping Station and then to Father Thames

View attachment 941428

You can climb up the screws. Not safely obviously.....

View attachment 941429

Good times mate. Glad you and ojay persevered despite the risk of a soggy meat and two veg......
It was a fun evening anyhow! :)
That pic from the bit we didn't have time to get to is interesting. It looks a relatively modern chamber. What's behind those wooden looking boards?

Nice shots from further under the pumping station, that's a beefy penstock and lovely brickwork.
I like that pic you got from the top of the screws, they shift much more water than they look like they could do.
 

NuBoid

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Exquisite !!!!!!!!
Cant beat a little 'traverse' in 'The Big Stink' ha ha :D
How lucky is that for the PS to drop the levels so you can carry on ' J Biz ' must have been lookin in on you from the great interceptor in the sky........ ha ha :D
and ...........judging by TG's pics it must have been 'National Wet Wipe Flushing Week' :thumb
 

TheVicar

Loyal to the Drain
Regular User
Image 4: is that blocked off there?
Yes, not sure if the tunnel ever went further in that direction.

Exquisite !!!!!!!!
Cant beat a little 'traverse' in 'The Big Stink' ha ha :D
How lucky is that for the PS to drop the levels so you can carry on ' J Biz ' must have been lookin in on you from the great interceptor in the sky........ ha ha :D
and ...........judging by TG's pics it must have been 'National Wet Wipe Flushing Week' :thumb
Cheers, it's always fun taking a stroll through London's feculence.
I reckon it's 'National Wet Wipe Flushing Week' all year round. You only have to put the tripod down for a couple of minutes in the flow before there's all kinds of rags wrapped round the legs. :turd
 

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