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No escape from Titan!

al

Member
I went through less than a year ago, and it definitely wasn't sumped then, so I suspect this is mostly due to a lot of water (it's been a very wet few months) taking fines into the passage and blocking the small amount of drainage that is still there. As R2D2 isn't really working any more due to the Tea Rooms dam being blocked, everything is going into the FSE connection rather than Speedwell.

This situation is mostly down to the lack of a proper maintenance crew willing and able to work on stuff like this - the above two posters are exempt from any further work due to the amount of work they've already done - and retirees shouldn't really need to be asked, what with all these 'young cavers' about. Let's not forget that most of this drainage system was also installed by students, but something has clearly gone awry since then.
Sorry to hear this. Keeping the dams operational was always seen as important because the route through from Leviathan to Stemple Highway is a single-point of failure. The original introduction of the pipework (and subsequently R2D2, when the Boulder Piles started moving) was to keep the route open, and the dam clearing work didn't really take that long and was, in many ways, enjoyable. But, if you say that R2D2 is no longer taking water, then it sounds like there's a problem with the main dam, which really is an issue and definitely needs sorting if the route through from Titan is to be maintained - far more critical than the CAW duck.
 

FabianE

Member
Sorry to hear this. Keeping the dams operational was always seen as important because the route through from Leviathan to Stemple Highway is a single-point of failure. The original introduction of the pipework (and subsequently R2D2, when the Boulder Piles started moving) was to keep the route open, and the dam clearing work didn't really take that long and was, in many ways, enjoyable. But, if you say that R2D2 is no longer taking water, then it sounds like there's a problem with the main dam, which really is an issue and definitely needs sorting if the route through from Titan is to be maintained - far more critical than the CAW duck.
I've offered to look at this on another post and see if the dam can be cleared.
@pwhole has explained very well on another thread what requires doing and I'm just looking at organising a reconnaissance trip to create a plan of what needs doing.
@pwhole I'll drop you a email in the coming weeks for a little more information if that's okay 👍
 

pwhole

Well-known member
Some of us like to think it the stuff of dreams - though for once I'll probably be too busy. But where else do you get to practice insane engineering projects on an 80m wonder hole in the dark, with no finger-wagging from H&S? ;)
 

Cantclimbtom

Well-known member
stuff of nightmares. One of the many reasons I stay away from the Weak District
Priddy Green Sink sounds worse? That's reputedly constantly bad rather than sometimes bad. And presumably the Dales has it's own "treasures" too?

I've only seen CAW once and it was dry (well sticky stinky mud, but no water at all) despite the fact the rest of the system was decidedly damp. When the pipes work... they must really work. If I was local I'd be looking/surveying the dam myself, especially as I've still not looked about James Hall Over Engine mine and I'd love to
 
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FabianE

Member
The Peak Cavern keyholders are coming up with a plan to resolve this issue. The dams will be looked at, and work carried out where necessary. The former Stemple Highway Inlet Sump Two route between the bottom of Leviathan to Far Sump Extension will be reopened as well. Please bear with us.
I've emailed one of the keyholders. But if you need extra hands I'm happy to help :)
 

cooleycr

Active member
::~~ fanfare ::~~

The Peak Cavern keyholder team are delighted to announce that......(yes, I know the cat is already out of the bag ;), but....)

courtesy of Martyn Grayson


"The connection between Titan & JH is now open, thanks to the efforts of SUSS. They managed to pump out the connection last weekend. now we have air flow, the rest should dry out making the digging out of the silt / spoil easier.

As you’re aware I’ve been quietly coordinating getting this section of cave back open to the wider caving community. The loss of the connection was caused by both Dams high in Leviathan not been able to take the volume of water. This was caused by a combination of blocked grills, loss of capacity due to filling with mine tailings and a damaged pipe letting the water from the lower dam cascade down the pitch instead of draining away via the pipe network into Speedwell.

The pipe on the lower dam is still in need of repair and will be completed before the coming winter."

Many people have been involved but special mention must go to the following -

  • Ben Thompson } SUSS
  • Tan Thonskulprasert } SUSS
  • Micheal Holiday } TSG & SUSS
  • Ben Alston } SUSS
  • Tom Batten } SUSS
  • Joe Walker } SUSS
  • Glen Sankey } SUSS
  • Jonah Shrive } SUSS
  • Alistair Gout } TSG
  • Jessica Eades } TSG
  • Richard Tooley } TSG
 

john green

New member
Memory plays tricks, but I don't remember the worms or the farmyard smell in the first 5 years or so of trips through from Titan, and I was doing that a few times a year.
Perhaps I was lucky.
After it started it seemed to be a regular problem.
I wonder if the people who dug open the route between FSE and Leviathan had to contend with it?
I helped a bit with the dig from JH to FSE back in the 90s whilst the dams and pipe work were working I don’t remember any farm animal by products smell. I can remember speedwell smelling of diesel, which was blamed on a quarry use diesel and fertiliser for blasting, can’t remember which quarry now. It is possible the farms above have increased the number of cows they are keeping, there are fewer and larger farms everywhere now, so combined with the water management system failing in JH it sounds a lot worse than it was when opened up originally.
 

pwhole

Well-known member
It would be Eldon Quarry where the diesel was reputed to come from - I remember abseiling down the bottom pitch of Leviathan only about six years ago and smelling the diesel, so it's a long-standing problem. Part of the stinky water problem I suspect is simply that the farmyard is 15m or so higher than New Rake surface workings, and in wet weather water runs down the track and the fields and sinks in the vicinity. It may have taken a few years for it to accumulate at the bottom to a level that it's noticeable - dunno. I get the impression water accumulation wasn't that much of a problem full stop in the early days of it being re-opened, so maybe fine shit-silt has plugged up all the drainage? In mining times it's likely they just had so many holes at the bottom of Leviathan that it all went into the Speedwell streamway rather than the FSE connection.
 

Cantclimbtom

Well-known member
Given that intestinal worms can live in CAW sump, I'd assume that the transit from source from an actual CA, to CAW sump would be quicker than years? We need a parasitologist's input on that one, viability timescale of eggs in a cave environment (a PhD for someone perhaps?)
 

john green

New member
It would be Eldon Quarry where the diesel was reputed to come from - I remember abseiling down the bottom pitch of Leviathan only about six years ago and smelling the diesel, so it's a long-standing problem. Part of the stinky water problem I suspect is simply that the farmyard is 15m or so higher than New Rake surface workings, and in wet weather water runs down the track and the fields and sinks in the vicinity. It may have taken a few years for it to accumulate at the bottom to a level that it's noticeable - dunno. I get the impression water accumulation wasn't that much of a problem full stop in the early days of it being re-opened, so maybe fine shit-silt has plugged up all the drainage? In mining times it's likely they just had so many holes at the bottom of Leviathan that it all went into the Speedwell streamway rather than the FSE connection.
The connection to FSE was sumped when the bottom of leviathan was reached, hence the first dig was down into speedwell so water could be drained that way, when the miners were active there as presumably drainage through the floor into speedwell, but there was also an open connection as the miners passed through it. so the exact route is unknown, and the connection was full of miners waste which had washed in over the many years.
 

Cantclimbtom

Well-known member
The connection to FSE was sumped when the bottom of leviathan was reached, hence the first dig was down into speedwell so water could be drained that way, when the miners were active there as presumably drainage through the floor into speedwell, but there was also an open connection as the miners passed through it. so the exact route is unknown, and the connection was full of miners waste which had washed in over the many years.
Plumtree account is that there was a smaller cavern at the speedwell stream level that was (directly??) below what sounds like the main leviathan cavern

 

Tangent_tracker

Active member
Given that intestinal worms can live in CAW sump, I'd assume that the transit from source from an actual CA, to CAW sump would be quicker than years? We need a parasitologist's input on that one, viability timescale of eggs in a cave environment (a PhD for someone perhaps?)
They are quite simply tubliflex worms if that helps. I do not know a great deal about them, but doubt they could survive years in egg form. Some creatures can, but require the eggs to remain dry and then pure rain water to re-activate. You ain't gonna get that down there!
 

Tangent_tracker

Active member
Well done and thanks to all, must have been gnarly!
I was in JH recently, and wondered if anyone checks the pipe anchors from time to time? It would be a shame if they were to come lose and knock out the stempeling! Just a thought....
 
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