stink pipes

Discussion in 'London and the South East' started by Major Tom, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. Major Tom

    Major Tom Mentalist Wierdo RIP

    Has anyone else noticed these things on South London Streets? So far I've seen a few round Camberwell, Mottingham, Lewisham, Dulwich, and in Bromley.

    Have you got one of these things near you?

    I believe that they allow a vent to the build up of noxious gasses in the sewage system - but that's about all.

    Are there any in North London?
  2. GarfieldLeChat

    GarfieldLeChat fucking awesome but wrong

    no we're not built on shonky marsh land and therefore dont need to have a floating sewage system...
  3. sam/phallocrat

    sam/phallocrat Denarian + 1 R.I.P.

    There's plenty in Plumstead (very marshy you see) . . .
  4. Major Tom

    Major Tom Mentalist Wierdo RIP

    then what are they for then?
  5. Major Tom

    Major Tom Mentalist Wierdo RIP

    I know that the main sewage system built in early 1800s goes right through the middle of Plumstead.
  6. GarfieldLeChat

    GarfieldLeChat fucking awesome but wrong

    no idea but we don't have em in norf lundan we have real swewers unlike you southern monkeys :D
  7. lang rabbie

    lang rabbie Je ne regrette les gazebos

    IIRC some of them follow the line of culverted waterways that are now part of the storm drain network rather than sewers.
  8. pooka

    pooka Can't Re Member

    We've had this question before and not really got to the bottom of it. They are almost certainly vents. Perhaps they are just in places where there is a low gradient on the sewers/culverts and gas more likely to collect in pockets.
  9. Major Tom

    Major Tom Mentalist Wierdo RIP

    I've started marking them on my A to Z in attempt to work out what they might be for. I tend to fidn them in clusters, three in a line across Dulwich, a triangle of them in Camberwell, and another line in Mottigham. I was wondering if they followed the routes of the old now enclosed rivers, in Dulwich they seem to follow the route of the Effra (I think) and the Quaggy in Mottingham.
  10. polo

    polo Well-Known Member


    They probably follow the line of the Southern High and Low Level Sewers towards Deptford Pumping station.

    The vents are probably to stop sewer workers from choking on the knoxious gasses and the build up of methane.
  11. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    I've been told they are vents for the sewers. There's one in the middle of the junction between Lilford, Minet and Knatchbull Road in Brixton
  12. dogmatique

    dogmatique merde alors

    There's one at the top of Julian's Farm Road off Leigham Court Road, which is kind of on the way down from Beulah Hill, which is where the Effra rises, but I can't help thinking that it's too much on the brow of the hill - the river goes down through West Norwood.

    More inclined to think it's sewers to be honest - though logically, culverted streams did become sewers, so a bit of both.

    Another note though: They'd never build em like that these days, would they, eh?
  13. lang rabbie

    lang rabbie Je ne regrette les gazebos

    I was staring at that particularly splendid example this afternoon on the way to the Lambeth Archives open day, and trying to work out how the culverts flow - is there another one just north of Myatts Fields Park (Flodden Road???).
  14. lang rabbie

    lang rabbie Je ne regrette les gazebos

    Dusting off my copy of Effra: Lambeth's Underground River (Ken Dixon, 1993,The Brixton Society) that could be something to do with a tributary of the Effra that starts somewhere near Casewick Road.
  15. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    Can't help you there lang rabbie, I only know that one.
  16. Callie

    Callie Pivoting

    There are a few around Sutton that Ive noticed, didnt have a clue what they were!
  17. pooka

    pooka Can't Re Member

    There's one at the junction of Hazzlerigg and Bedford Road (Clapham North). I'm not aware of a culverted river round there.
  18. Pot-Bellied Pig

    Pot-Bellied Pig Fuck Knuckle.

    Looks to me as if its' an old victorian gas lamp....I mean if its' a vent from a sewer of oulet for methane then the street would stink and it would be dangerous and contrary to enviromental regs ! Sorry SS reckons your taking about the little black post....if you are I haven't got a clue but still would think that as an outlet it would need to be closed off.
  19. 1927

    1927 Funnier than he thinks he is.

    Iirc in the past some street lighting was run on gas from sewers below!
  20. Velouria

    Velouria Not as good looking as the avatar

  21. wtfftw

    wtfftw melting like a toastie

    There was a thread about these recently (as in since I joined) in general chat I think.
    I havent spotted any in north london (but I'm not too observant). Parents live by the minet/knatchbull/lilford one tho.
  22. Major Tom

    Major Tom Mentalist Wierdo RIP

    Well, I found another one mear Kennington Park, and this is definitely where the Effra flows.

    So far every one I have found is above a subterranean river.

    I think that at one time they would have allowed certain gases to escape from the enclosed rivers, being used as sewage outlets. More recently though, the rivers have been cleaned up, so the pipes are now redundant.
  23. Major Tom

    Major Tom Mentalist Wierdo RIP

    It's possible that they were also used with the sewage system. doesn't the main sewage system run through clapham?
  24. poster342002

    poster342002 PROPER leftwing socialist

    If so, I wonder why sewer-gas isn't "re-cycled" somehow to provide extra fuel? :confused:
  25. Poi E

    Poi E Pessimism: a valuable protection against quackery.

    Don't know if they're doing it here but downunder there were a few schemes extracting methane from rubbish tips and composting sewage sludge. They were running council trucks on the methane (or methanol, something like that.)
  26. charlie mowbray

    charlie mowbray The Enforcer

    Yes, we've discussed this on a thread already. They're to let gas escape so there won't be explosions
    One in Bromley-by-Bow, where I live is a fine specimen
  27. charlie mowbray

    charlie mowbray The Enforcer

    Which reminds me of the lamps powered by sewer gas. There's still a survivor of these down Carting Lane just off Strand by Coal Hole Bar - it was on when I went by at 4pm yesterday afternoon. It made an appearance in the London Nobody Knows presented by James Mason, which I'd seen a coupla hours earlier at ICA
  28. Major Tom

    Major Tom Mentalist Wierdo RIP

    Ahh - there is one north of the river. :cool:

    Wherabouts, I can check it on the way home from work.
  29. poster342002

    poster342002 PROPER leftwing socialist

    Some of them are quite ornate, too (there's one at the junction between Kennington Lane and Kennington Road with a "crown" shaped vent at the top, for example). I wonder if they're listed structures?
  30. Major Tom

    Major Tom Mentalist Wierdo RIP

    I was wondering if they were listed.

    There are lots with crowns - about half that I've seen.

    The ones in Bromley have a leaf design on them, which is quite nice.

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