Report - - Side-Winder, Manchester - October 2011. | UK Draining Forum | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Side-Winder, Manchester - October 2011.


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11m split level drop-shaft, storm tank & culvert, sewer-overflow winding around a vortex and disappearing down a plughole - YES PLEASE!

I vaguely remember jumping down an open manhole and walking down a collapsed brick pipe when I was younger with some mates

Since returning to drains some 25 yrs later I have had a poke around the area as I remembered it, but never been successful in locating any lids despite 2 or 3 visits :banghead

It did however occur to me that there were some excavations around that time, and I attempted to work out where they would have been..

A daytime recce, and after nearly giving up I spotted a lid, as I lifted it up and shone the mighty Fenix down I was amazed with the sheer size of the chamber and what shizzle lay below

(Whatever I once walked through all those years ago had long gone, replaced by this much deeper/larger system)

Sadly I was pressed for time, so had to shut the lid and f00k off.. I made my return later that evening, as I started to take a few pics it started to piss down

I had a quick mooch about and decided to leave as this is definately not somewhere you would want to get stuck in if it floods :eek:

I had to wait a couple of days until the rain subsided, back I went, this time really early so as not to be spotted, I even left the lid off to let some light in and some much needed air just in case

Typical of most drains around Manc, the stainless steel has been pikey'd, luckily UU have replaced the main ladders down between the split levels


Climbing down, the first real feature is this large Vortex, around halfway down the main chamber

(Despite no rain on the initial visit, there was a steady trickle down)


Traversing round to the other side was a little tricky as the railings had been pikey'd too


It's obvious that this system is sewer related, despite the odd whiff there were fanny plasters draped everywhere!

I had to boot a big clump of them away, as well as a load of junk that had washed up to reach the ladder down to the lower level

A sewer also runs through here inside the smaller cast-iron pipe (You can see it run alongside the ladder)


Once down, the overflow connected the 2 levels from the Vortex/Plughole above via a large cast iron pipe


As the ladders have once again been pikey'd I had to free climb down the iron sewer pipe to the overflow below


Once down...

Looking right - The bottom of the plughole/dropshaft, (note the flowage due to the recent rain)


Looking left - The iron sewer pipe carries on downstream, along with the watercourse (the sewer pipe becomes en-cased within the concrete on the left)

The RCP is just over 5ft and begins to shrink, I walked for an absolute age with no change, so gave up at this point and headed back


I climbed back up the ladder from the lower chamber


And back up to the Vortex above.. I headed up what starts off as a 5ft side pipe (sewer overflow)


There was no rain expected so I braved the journey into the un-known, I decided to use the pedometer app on my phone to check the length

5ft quickly shrunk to just over 4ft within the first 100 yards, this pipe just went on and on and on..

Along the way a culverted watercourse flowed in through a smaller RCP (That explains the constant flow of water)

It appears that there has also been a recent CCTV survey, as there was evidence of small tyre tracks the entire length

0.489 Miles later and 4 smaller manhole shafts the overflow reached the sewer, the biggest clues being the whiff of fresh and this jam ragged-out chain draped across the inlet from the CSO ahead :rolleyes:


I stepped across into the CSO, the noise was overwhelming and there were signs that it had recently overflowed


The trunk sewer was behind the concrete on my right on the pic above ^^

A climb up a ladder of around 12ft led to the top of the CSO chamber above the sewer


The air quality was real poor in here, the ladders to the manholes above had once again been yoinked, so there was no way out in an emergency

My lens was steaming up making pics impossible, and if I'm honest I started to feel ill again

Not wanting to hang around I grabbed this quick shot of the trunk sewer below


You can see that during normal flow, the sewer is channelled down a 2ft trench, during capacity it acts as a storm tank,

With the overspill exiting over the barriers either side of the 12ft wall and down the afore mentioned RCP to the Vortex downstream

After exiting the system I traced the final outfall into the river, had I chose to carry on (thank fuck I didn't) there is no way out!


Further evidence of the sewer can be seen attached to the grille (Yummy!)​


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