Ever thought that Confined Space work was cool?
Well you were correct, of course it is. Confined Space work involves a wide range of situations; from searching for tunnels in prisons to cleaning the tanks of ferries; from the egg shaped, brick Victorian sewers to modern Super Sewers.
It involves 3-5 people on a single job: someone at the top of the drain, tank, or hole; at least one person down in the space and a third rescue person, as a backup for the person at the top. The jobs are often more complex and require more people in the spaces.
Sometimes the sewers don’t run smooth and some of Bazalgette’s sewer’s have had to be repaired with much less aesthetically pleasing pipework. We’ve been down surveying the one’s which has required this.
The Victorian structure will not have to take the full weight of London for much longer. The Tideway Super Sewer system will soon be in place and will take the load off the brick sewers.
Being in reflective mood this morning, as Megatron returns to work, we’re remembering Sir Joseph Bazalgette. He saved thousands of lives and created one of the seven wonders of the industrial world, the London sewer system.
One of the things that makes London extraordinary and Hydro Cleansing privileged to work here, is maintaining Bazalgette’s sewerage system. Championed by fellow engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Bazalgette was appointed chief engineer of the Metropolitan Board of Works, in 1856. He had the extraordinary foresight to allow for London’s population boom. It is the foundation upon which this 8.6 million populated metropolis runs smoothly and efficiently. The sewers are now operating at a level way beyond what they were intended for. Innovations are being developed and should be built this year to cope with London’s continuing growth, in the form of the super sewers.
We have history beside innovation, our Megatron has been repaired and upgraded. Remarkably, we have a bigger reel with up to 45000 psi! It’s back, bigger and better.
If you’re only going to do it once, do it well, and maintain it! Are your drains going to last?
“[The principle, in building a sewer system, was] of diverting the cause of the mischief to a locality where it can do no mischief. “
Joseph Bazelgette 1819 – 1891
Thanks to urban explorers and modern photographic technology, some of the most magnificent hidden engineering triumphs lying, hidden, beneath the streets of the world’s greatest cities have been recorded, in all their former glory, and posted online.
Below are some of Hydro Cleansing’s favorite snaps of sewers and drains, from London’s arched, Victorian Gothic drains, to still working ancient Roman systems and infamous giant storm drains.