The Water Tower

The Water Tower
The Water Tower at Dusk

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Works to Ironmills Path - Update 17th Dec 2014

Drainage works at the top of Ironmills Steps were completed last week. Here is a brief resume.
Further poor workmanship was identified at the pipe from the road drains to the outlet of the septic tank. Basically no joint at all, just a hole cut in the pipe, the other pipe laid against it and a layer of concrete on top to keep it all together. We reckon this pipe work was constructed around 17 years ago when the road drains were diverted from the inlet to the septic tank to the outlet.

This "junction" has probably been leaking since the day it was installed. A comment was made by someone that this was the worst drainage construction seen in all time in the construction industry. It doesn't get much worse.

                                     3 photos showing the intersection of the road drains to the septic outlet....

- and what replaced the above


In a fit of reaction to this news about the drainage (along with some very odd Facebook comments from a Jock Cousteau on the "Old Woodburn" site) I sent an e mail to the council. A response the next day offers to document the drainage works and to provide me with a letter stating no impact from our house build or woodland works being a reason for the land slip. Good. So far I have the letter but I'm guessing documenting the drainage works may take a little more time. I don't want to lambast the council any more than necessary but these very shoddy works from the past sit directly above the area where the land slip started.
On realising the extent of the poor drainage works, I also decided to contact the British Geological Survey group. The BGS registered the land slip earlier this year after picking it up via this blog site. The BGS had then communicated with the council but had not yet received the Ironside Farrar report. I sent the report to them and they assessed on paper. A useful exercise I think. I conveyed their reply to the council. Basically BGS are agreeing that the wet summer is the most likely cause but that leaking drains can cause land slip. Also agreeing that the tree roots in this situation are helpful rather than a risk. Latter is the case if a full land slip takes place and the shear force of the roots against rock is a risk. This land slip is really land movement and interestingly BGS describe the land slip as a "shallow event".

This week commening Mon 15th Dec, the council team arrive to make a start on repairing the actual steps. There's a red chute taking concrete down to the dog leg of the path where the worst of the slip has impacted.



Then what happened? The septic tank began to stink. The lid had been moved during the drainage works and some soil had got it. It was due to be emptied and it's on a rota. The neighbour was contacted, agreed to go ahead and within the day G had the tank emptied. Now looking to get a better lid and share the cost of that. Its all go. the end of this week I guess we will have the steps re opened. Hurrah.

Does it end there? I hope not. We need to make some improvements to these steps, as well and the hand rail and fencing. I think some works are planned for Spring time and I know that a joint community council action is in the offing to have a meeting with the council. Ideas such as having a notice board at the top of the steps, that would be good, are in the gift of the community councils.

Lots more to come then but right now G and I could not be happier to see the very poor drainage works completely overhauled.

BTW, the drainage tract in the ground and the search for any water pipes?

                                                               land drain 14/12/14

None found and the soil was bone dry. The drain that has been laid will capture nothing but perhaps it future proofs the situation and therefore not such a waste of funds. Its a very large land drain.

Wonder how much money is left from the original 58K for works to the steps? And wonder if there is anything left for the bridge.

For anyone who might read this blog site after G and I depart this earth, and for Cameron and Susan Manson. He who holds the answer to the drainage holds the answer to it all......

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