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Report - - Southwark and Bermondsey Storm Relief & Shad Thames Pumping Station, July 2020 | UK Draining Forum | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Southwark and Bermondsey Storm Relief & Shad Thames Pumping Station, July 2020


tallginge

more tall than ginger tho.....
Regular User
Known as Liposuction (IIRC)
(but it didn't seem all that bad when I went. No worse than to be expected anyway :turd)

Here's another one from last summer. It's not the most interesting of London's Storm Reliefs, indeed the main pipe's concrete and there's a lot of walking between the interesting sections, which all look very similar anyway - bring choones :D The pumping station at the end, though, is quite photogenic so I've described this stoopy stroll from the upstream end first. There's a few splits and branches along the way so some of these may be in a funny order.

We start near Southark Cathedral where there's several overflows from the numerous sewers. In this area they're mostly pretty old and only 4ft, which I'd normally consider to be a local sewer but given this is central south London and it used to be far less populated than it is now, Thames Water probably consider them as trunk sewers.
Yup, I reckon that's a decomposed rat.

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This overflow pipe leads under another sewer and joins its overflow. The combined flows then emerges from the left side of this junction.

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I then walked up the right side and surprise, surprise it lead to another long narrow chamber with a steep overflow pipe.

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Turning around I walked back the way I'd come passing the fork junction to eventually emerge from the right side of another forked junction, where I could nearly stand up straight - oh the relief! Walking up the left side of the split I soon came to what appeared at first to be a dead end. It wasn't, it was a connecting pipe from another long narrow chamber, almost identical to the others.

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Further down from the fork another overflow with another steep connecting pipe joins from the right (or the left when looking upstream)

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Then another steep one from the left.......it's alright there's a change of scenery coming up!

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Entering this manhole from the pipe on the right I came across this once bricked-up now broken-through, soiled-up pipe.

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Having stuck my nose down here a while ago I was surprised to find the main pipe was now nearly empty as it had previously been half full of water at this point. The tide must've been in I thought. Silly sod......how does the tide get past a pumping station? We live and learn.......When I went back (at low tide to make sure) I realised the standing water was much lower and that I'd probably be able to walk all the way to the pumping station - not something I expected to ever be possible.......they must've been pumping recently

I came across this website which contains an extract on Shad Thames Pumping Station from a 1980 publication. I think it's brilliant, there's old photos of the building from inside and out and a good description of all the machinery, pumps, accumulator, etc. http://www.glias.org.uk/glias/shad-thames-pumping-station.html

I couldn't not have a go at climbing up the flexi-pipe going through the open flap. The water below is much deeper than it appears and would've made for a soft (if wet) landing had I fallen off. Negotiating my way around the submerged pit of deep water in order to get any further than the end of the pipe was tricky in itself and not without risk.

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Upstairs

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From the road outside after a fruitless search for lids to get me into the 'discharge culvert' which leads to the Thames......and will definitely be tidal. After all the storm water pumping stations I have visited around London these discharge culverts remain unexplored.....at least by me. One day.....maybe

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Thanks fer loookin'​
 

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TheVicar

Loyal to the Drain
Regular User
Well this is very interesting and rather nice! Strangely enough I have been studying this drain on the maps this week. Looks better than I would’ve imagined. Great stuff! :thumb
 

pastybarm

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
another lapse from my hiatus, bloody brilliant TG, although that deep section and the big metal penstock scare the bejesus out of me, and brave of you to go up that flexi pipe and into the tunnel behind the flap.....is that part tidal, or can it kick into gear at any time? Cheers again, pb
 

NuBoid

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Wow @tallginge great report and pics........22.jpg is a personal fav

Carlsberg don't do drains ..........but if they did !!!!!!

Do you do guided tours ??? ha ha
 

tallginge

more tall than ginger tho.....
Regular User
another lapse from my hiatus, bloody brilliant TG, although that deep section and the big metal penstock scare the bejesus out of me, and brave of you to go up that flexi pipe and into the tunnel behind the flap.....is that part tidal, or can it kick into gear at any time? Cheers again, pb
oh patsy.....glad yer enjoying them fella :thumb This is by far one of the least scary drains. The penstock looks brand new and there's even an emergency exit. Not sure TW would call me brave lol. It was fun climbing up their pipes tho and the tumbling bay up there was a nice surprise. None of it's tidal inland of the pumping station. Even if the 'discharge pipe' going to the river was full of Thames Water it can't pass the pumps. It'd be a very inefficient system if it could wouldn't it, given there's two tides a day and not that many storm events. I dunno how often it turns on but imagine the PS having to pump several days/ weeks worth of tidal water out first before the storm water. Water rates would go thru the roof! Took me a while to realise that tbf. Just coz there's a storm and the sewers overflow, doesn't mean it get pumped out right away. It'll probs be pumped at night in a 1er every so often to save leccy and costs. It comes down to luck that the downstream end was empty. Obvs the more yer go, the 'luckier' yer get

Wow @tallginge great report and pics........22.jpg is a personal fav

Carlsberg don't do drains ..........but if they did !!!!!!

Do you do guided tours ??? ha ha
Thanks mate and yeah I liked that one as well. Carlsberg? Think I'd rather drink a pint of the Thames haha. I've introduced a few folks to their first drain and it's usually their last one as well :rolleyes: I felt like a bit of tour guide, waffling on a lot, knowing full well that most of it was going in one ear and out the other. I'll help anyone I can trust if that's whatcha mean :thumb Kinda helps if people know what they want haha. I'm not inundated with requests though. Some stuff is best kept outta the public eye btw
 

bikebouy

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Fantastic they built them with just probably candles and oil cans set on fire and look at the craftsmanship of the brickwork, pity they dont do guided tours but the Risk assement would be huge
 

Lehtz

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
This all makes for thoroughly interesting viewing. I mentioned elsewhere that I've had occasion to visit a sewer or two in a somewhat professional capacity, it's not something I'm involved with directly but had an opportunity to tag along. Those were very middle of the road (pardon the pun) examples, big, but not especially interesting though compared to these offerings. :thumb
 

tallginge

more tall than ginger tho.....
Regular User
Thanks TG,when this is all over, you are welcome up here, ok to send you a PM?
Yeah any time, mate

Fantastic they built them with just probably candles and oil cans set on fire and look at the craftsmanship of the brickwork, pity they dont do guided tours but the Risk assement would be huge
Hadn't really considered that but yes I imagine that's all they could've used, especially in tunnelled sections. Trust me when I say it's NOT a pity they don't do guided tours. Think yer self lucky you found 28 :thumb

Another beauty! What's with those bricks piled up in pic 7? Or is it wood?

And any theories why that bricked up pipe has been smashed through? Official or unofficial amendments?
Thanks Tarky :D They're wooden wedges, presumably to repair a leak. My kinda repair is that. Knock a few wedges in, then keep chasing the ever diminishing leak with more wedges till it stops. Reckon someone would've had fun with that......if they stayed dry! Imagine that being your job for the afternoon to descend the ladder with a pocketful of wedges and a knocking stick. Couldn't tell ya why the bricked up pipe got smashed through or what it's original purpose was......coz I don't know.

This all makes for thoroughly interesting viewing. I mentioned elsewhere that I've had occasion to visit a sewer or two in a somewhat professional capacity, it's not something I'm involved with directly but had an opportunity to tag along. Those were very middle of the road (pardon the pun) examples, big, but not especially interesting though compared to these offerings. :thumb
Sounds like you should experience the good one's first hand then and walk some brick pipes :p The beam from yer mate's torch backlighting the 3d curving brickwork in front of you, the weird acoustics and echoes coming from both directions, the good smells, the bad smells, the rats, the slip sliding, the long ladder climbing, the rag dodging, the getting in/out through a tiny hole not knowing if yer not gonna launch some old dear across the street or get a front wheel in yer face......and that's before you even get yer camera out to shoot the good stuff
 

Lehtz

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Sounds like you should experience the good one's first hand then and walk some brick pipes :p The beam from yer mate's torch backlighting the 3d curving brickwork in front of you, the weird acoustics and echoes coming from both directions, the good smells, the bad smells, the rats, the slip sliding, the long ladder climbing, the rag dodging, the getting in/out through a tiny hole not knowing if yer not gonna launch some old dear across the street or get a front wheel in yer face......and that's before you even get yer camera out to shoot the good stuff
Sounds like a lot of fun. I have at least one eminently qualified compadre who I expect would be interested to accompany me (or rather me him) if he could be convinced to take a busman's holiday. Stalking this board has rather whet my appetite.
 

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