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Report - - Plunger - Milton Keynes - May 2016 | UK Draining Forum |

Report - Plunger - Milton Keynes - May 2016

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Sewer Rat
28DL Full Member
Its fair to say that Milton Keynes has been on my agenda for some time, ever since LittleMike's report ( MK pics now missing) many years back which ultimately concluded that "Milton Keynes needs a dedicated drainer". So a few years back I decided to step up to the mark and start working out, at least in map form what was what in MK and after talking to several people about it, it seemed worth a shot.. yet it wasn't until 2015 I actually got down to MK to take a look with my own eyes.

I followed in the footsteps and crossed off all of the outfalls he had photographed in his report and concluded also that they where, simply put, gash! How ever I had beyond that at least 100 pins to check out. I found the outfall to Plunger around a year ago, how ever this was no simple walk in outfall... You see you dont need a big gaping hole to push water through. This was a sumped outfall with no clear means of access. This meant having no idea what was behind, how big it was or in fact anything at all.

So it went on the look into further list, along with about 20 other locations. I've probably made about 10 visits to Milton Keynes since finding it, mostly leaving with more questions than answers. And this was the big one, I was never going to report on MK until this was found.

So a bit of a quest of manhole hunting and drain sniffing over the past few months with TheVicar and JuJu.

So my self and TheVicar met up after figuring which manholes to pop. Armed with a 4Gas, which the oxygen sensor was most valued here... no guarantee of air flow!

The first manhole to a smaller sump turned up a little 4ft box section drain, ultimately I wasn't and nor was TheVicar keen on a long stoop. So we thought we would try a manhole we had been to before but had felt it wasn't what we where looking for, but this time we decided to just pop it to make sure... as it fell in line.

(Didn't have a WAngle unfortunately... taking it next visit)

So I introduce you to Plunger....

Well as I took my climb down the ladders I shouted 4 key words up to TheVicar... "This is the one".


We drop in and decide to walk to where we felt the outfall was...

This is a storm drain, constructed around 1977 during the development of MK. Its task (or so it would appear) is to take surface water from the city center of Milton Keynes. It dumps to a sumped outfall from a very wide yet 7' high box section, as you see in the next photo, this is just one big box. Oxygen was only causing the 4gas an issue here falling to 19.1%.



After a little while it turns unto a nice 9' RCP with a small sewer main running inside of it.




Off in the distance we hear some loud gushing water and the reason for this came as a nice surprise...


We had found a little vortex drop shaft with a nice "Plunge Pool" at the bottom of it, And whilst I messed about with a couple of shots on my now regrettable choice of lens for the evening The Vicar went for a climb.. it wasn't long before I heard the shouts of "Pass the cameras..." so off we climbed. not too high, this is nothing like cots...

TheVicar jumps into the large circular pit around the mouth of the vortex first whilst I take a photo of the sewer main with I think some form of overflow.


And TheVicar is out, reporting that whats flowing into it is a 4' Box section that goes straight as he can see. So I jump up somewhere higher to get a better vantage point over the hole... really bad choice of lens, I would have sold my left arm just to have a fisheye at this moment!



So we continue on but the RCP has shrunk a little, at a guess it has become a 7'-8' rcp, This pipe was certainly of a different construction method.




This tunnel kept on going. a couple of much smaller vortexes, and not nearly exciting enough to photograph or bother to look at their flows at this time, stomachs rumbling, clocks ticking... after a while of walking it was time to go. We had been down here for 3 hours and the time had just flew by.
Last edited:

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Very nice, interesting report and great pics too :thumb

(You can edit the date yourself by using the drop down menu in thread tools, any hassle give me a shout).


Staff member
Excellent stuff, I know you've put a lot
Into this, now you can go chase the rest of the pins ;)


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Great work lads, the dropshaft is an interesting looking feature. I love feeling of satisfaction when a project finally pays off.


Loyal to the Drain
Regular User
The 'Don' of MK drains! :D
I It was a good trip with the weather in our favour. As soon as we hauled that very heavy lid aside, the deep resounding echoes indicated that this was most likely what we had been looking for.

Reminded me a bit of Bunker being all concrete and that plughole/dropshaft setup. Such a clean drain too with very little trace of sewage overflow. A thoroughly enjoyable evening!


A fellow of infinite jest
28DL Full Member
You said it was going to be big, not mahoosive!! Nicely shot. :thumb

Gutted I missed it.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Interesting to see another modern drainage set up....this does seem pretty similar to Bunker. That outfall is pretty creepy, especially as the gate is open.....a real dirty looking pit of doom! Given MK is one of the "new towns" it would stand to reason the drains are more modern than blue brick CSO's there!!!