Report - - North Western Storm Relief, London - 2013 - 2014. | UK Draining Forum | 28DaysLater.co.uk

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


Staff member

North Western Storm Relief, London


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


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



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


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)



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


Further downstream, the NWSR intersects the NKRS

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


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


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)


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


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


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


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


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



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


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


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


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


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


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:


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


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





off the wall
Regular User
An excellent read there, and same goes for the photos. Fab stuff :thumb

The Kwan

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
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!