22nd December 2013
This was the scene at Staveley Town Lock at 11 a.m. today.
Our Work Party was setting up a pump to remove all the water in and beyond the lock.
The pump was very kindly donated to us by .
Once it gets going it works really well.
As you can see there is a step up into the lock and then down again.
The pump has to be monitored closely to stop it getting clogged with mud and to stop airlocks forming.
The view from the top of the lock. You can see the pumping pipe going over the roadway.
When the level starts to drop, gullies have to be dug to ensure that most of the water can drain away.
Now the water has mostly gone, but conditions are still terrible.
Here the hose from a second pump is being sorted out. This will pump out the lock itself.
You can see the water from the second pump coming out just to the right of Phil in the yellow helmet.
Our Work Party have to do this every time that there has been heavy rain. They can not start work on block and brick laying until the lock is clear. Remembering that yesterday was the shortest day, you can see that they often are left with very little time to do their real work.
The reason for this problem is the black pipe on the top right.
Last December (2012) there was a massive amount of rainfall that resulted in the canal between Mill Green and Staveley Town Basin overtopping.
This resulted in deep gullies being eroded into the bank.
This erosion was remedied in May.
In order to avoid this happening again, the bund between the lock and the basin was lowered slightly. This allows the water to escape through the lock, rather than spilling over the banks. To help drain the water away from the lock, contractors installed a big pipe (top right). This avoids a massive flood like the one in 2012, but it’s not possible to drain the lock site completely by gravity through the pipe, because it’s at a lower level than the concrete base under the downstream Northern Loop Road Bridge, which is shown in the background.
Taken from the bridge, this shows the other end of the big pipe being cleared by Ralph, following heavy rain in October.
To read the latest news about work on this site, click here.