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Report - Tidal Fudge - London 30/12/08

Discussion in 'UK Draining Forum' started by siologen, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. siologen

    siologen I Go Where The Drains Are
    Regular User

    Oct 15, 2008
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    Nice finish to the year.
    Zero had an eye on this one for a while. The Greenwich Relief. Having gotten a few possible lids in the can, he and i set out popping. We found the right one second time round, but to our dismay the lid had a tidal flap beneath it. not surprising given it was situated barely 100m from the Thames.

    Tonight tho, Zero n i got it right. Proper barricades, hi-vis, hardhats, mallets, the works. Noone even noticed us and after a few solid thwacks to the locking pins the flap was loose and i gently lowered it.

    We'd been right about the tide. It butted right up under the flap, leaving the ladder caked in mud.
    Upon descending i stepped out into the tunnel and was relieved (after so many) not to find yet another 8ft diameter redbrick pipe (one thing i find a bit dull about London). Instead i stood in a 12ft high concrete arch tunnel, with a nice clean trickle meandering thru the ankle deep slurry banks to either side.

    Heading downstream, we soon encountered a small chamber beyond which lay a Fleet style set of 4 flaps, two stacked on two... except one of them had rusted off its hinges and collapsed onto the floor. Stepping thru we found ourselves in a tub shaped tunnel that quickly lead to three 6ft iron pipes that suddenly submerged into the Low Tide affected river, explaining why we'd never found an outfall.

    Going upstream, the arch quickly became a 12ft dia rcp after the manhole entry point, we sloshed along and soon turned a bend to find ourselves in a gorgeous 12ft diameter yellow brick pipe.

    'I just jizzed in my pants' -Zero.

    We sloshed on in hope of a monst0r overflow chamber at the upstream end, and the pipe wove its way up thru Greenwich towards Charlton. I went about checking every manhole, hopeful that we'd find one without a tide flap. We didnt and to boot, the manhole alcoves were fucking gross, sometimes thigh deep in mud.

    Down every storm relief in London reside what i like to call Sewer Laundry Lines. The long trailing collections of paperwaste that attach themselves over time to anything sticking out into the flow, which, when in this case, the flow all five of the main Southern interceptor sewers are dumped in from Greenwich pumping station. this drain had the biggest Laundry Lines, up to 3 metres in length and a foot thick, hanging from every handrail leading up to every manhole alcove.

    About 400m in the pipe suddenly became.... fluro yellow plastic! With a grip tape floor! I shit you not. Theyd lined the big pipe with plastic, then the floor with enough griptape to do over 500 skateboard decks. The rumble above indicated it was for strengthening from the vibrations of the DLR.

    We sloshed on and it got muddier, more turd-mud than tidal until, sadly, it all came to an end. Not even a chamber or final manhole alcove. The big pipe simply stopped at a huge closed penstock gate. The other side of which was presumably the Pump Station.

    We sloshed back, climbed out, i dropped my new Tesco down the shaft and into ankle deep mud, retrieved it, then we succeeded thoroughly in getting the tidal flap latched (p-hew). Which was nice.

    Zero's Bit.

    It was great to finally get into this one, had a little look many times with various people but it just never seemed to be.

    A tad disappointing that the pump penstock was closed. But as the flaps downstream were broken i guess they had no choice....

    First sight


    Im still curious as to what went in the holes, they run along the floor too.



    Pipes into the Thames


    Mmmmmm plastic


    Beeeaaaaauuuuttiifullll brick


    So long 2008!!!! Hello 09 and all the drains she may bring
    #1 siologen, Dec 31, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008

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