Author Topic: St Valentines Sump  (Read 14558 times)

Offline Pitlamp

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St Valentines Sump
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2006, 07:45:44 am »
If the small dome / airbell is the one I'm thinking about it's about 5 metres maximum from the end.  The elbow of the sump is at the very end and is tight, so definitely don't free dive it.  Better to take more time and work out a reliable method of removing the water, for everyone's safety.  Don't discount Mark's idea of pumping the sump through itself.  As you surface at the far side you hit a rift, the way on being up a mud slope to the right.  It's some distance before it starts to slope down towards the pitches.  The head is at least 2 metres but this is not impossible to overcome.

Another option possibly worth thinking about is the "permanent siphon".  If you set a siphon going over the mud mound beyond but have the outlet submerged in a bucket just at the level you want to siphon to, as long as the upstream end stays submerged the siphon will not break.  Then as the sump refills it automatically keeps siphoning.  It's fiddly to set up and it'd be worth digging a pit next to the sump to keep the inlet end of the siphon tube in.  Also it'd be prone to being dislodged, so would need fixing in place pretty rigidly whilst in use.  Just thinking out loud in the hopes it helps.

Don't free dive it!

Dave H

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St Valentines Sump
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2006, 01:37:25 pm »
Quote from: "pitlamp"

Another option possibly worth thinking about is the "permanent siphon".  If you set a siphon going over the mud mound beyond but have the outlet submerged in a bucket just at the level you want to siphon to, as long as the upstream end stays submerged the siphon will not break.  Then as the sump refills it automatically keeps siphoning.  It's fiddly to set up and it'd be worth digging a pit next to the sump to keep the inlet end of the siphon tube in.  Also it'd be prone to being dislodged, so would need fixing in place pretty rigidly whilst in use.  Just thinking out loud in the hopes it helps.

Smart idea. Does anyone know of a working example? (in a cave) :)

Andy Stewart

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St Valentines Sump
« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2006, 08:43:41 am »
What's the gear like on the filthy five pitches? I assume it hasn't been p bolted. I have 30 m of 1/2" hose pipe for a siphon. Is this likely to do the job at St Valentines sump?

Offline SamT

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« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2006, 01:31:43 pm »
eyup andy - take it you didnt get down there on saturday.

There is hose in place on the Eating house side already - but if you want to try and suss it out from the F5 side then go to it.

I gather that the old vintage dynamic rope on the pitches has been replaced with static rope - however the Y hangs at the top are still just assorted tat of unknown vintage. The bolts are in a state too so ascend gently at your own risk.

This is why I'd like to sort a siphon/dam out from the top side and get the place re-bolted with a nice pull through system.

Andy Stewart

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St Valentines Sump
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2006, 03:43:52 pm »
Okay- definitely this saturday even if the sun is shining. We'll have a go from the Eating House side using your hose , but i expect there's a limit to how far you can siphon through a narrow pipe with a small head, so if we don't manage to drain it we'll go to the other side and have a look. I'll leave my hose there hopefully siphoning, for future reference,and I'll post the result next week. :roll:

Do you know anything about the dig at the top of Magin's Rift? The rift goes up for a long way, then through a squeezy passage on the left and onwards and upwards with just loose stones filling the passage. It feels like it should lead somewhere, but then I suppose that's what leads lots of obsessive diggers on.   :twisted:

Offline SamT

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St Valentines Sump
« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2006, 05:11:02 pm »
I think some of the eldon lads had a poke about up there recently - I think there were a series of digs by the late Ben Bentham entiltled something like death 1 death 2 etc etc.

Probably some good info lying about in some journals somewhere. If only we could find a home for the eldon library.

Offline Armchair

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St Valentines Sump
« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2006, 10:08:20 pm »
A tight squeeze at the top was passed by Kev Drakeley many moons ago into a blind continuation called 'TV aven'. Not much prospect, apparently.

Offline SamT

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« Reply #32 on: January 28, 2006, 10:39:25 pm »
Had another play at the sump on friday night.

After some modifications - my bilge pump is now insitu at the sump and will pump water all the way along the pipe to the drain.

The drain was comprehensibly tested yesterday by draining the small lake into it - the water easily ran away and showed no signs of backing up.

Unfortunately - the drain (which is a small rift about 6-8 inches wide in the floor of the passage)  is choked with rubble/mud and must be about at the same level as the sump. When we stoped pumping - you could see that it was trying to syphon but after about 10 seconds - the flow slowed and then stopped.

All that is needed is for the rubble to be fetched out of the rift so the pipe can be pushed further down - about a meter and the  syphon should then work well.

Easier said than done - since when head first down the rift - its difficult to do  any usefull digging.

we reckon those fence post spades (like a big pair of tongs) would do the trick and possibly a metal bar for ramming down. the fill is loose rock which just needs plucking out.

If a drain pipe could be broddled in - then the hose fed down that some distance it might help (and keep the rubble from running in)

This is and open project - anyone fancying a go is more than welcome. (pending parenthood is probably going to curtail my caving a little in the near future).

I may have a crack on night next week.

RM

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St Valentines Sump
« Reply #33 on: January 29, 2006, 01:21:17 pm »
Hey sam

Good effort

Unfortunatly me and the other SUSS lads are still in exam mode till this friday. The week after that I would be interested in a go if youve not managed it by then. And I could probably drum up some others if neccessiry. I no Ben M is keen for one.

Andy Stewart

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St Valentines Sump
« Reply #34 on: January 31, 2006, 09:26:25 am »
:oops: Sorry, but we left in a hurry on saturday and left your pump system disconnected. I didn't realise you were there on friday evening. We pumped some water , but couldn't get the syphon working. We came to the conclusion that if you run the hose back to the main passage then it should work. The permanent syphon idea should work if there was a valve that could turn the flow rate to match water coming into the sump.

If you can dig out the drain hole at the pool and push the hose down it then even better.

I left my garden hose at the drain hole with your pump. We will go back and try to syphon water from the filthy five side.

Offline SamT

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St Valentines Sump
« Reply #35 on: January 31, 2006, 12:48:12 pm »
No worries -  :)

I think the best/neatest approach will be to dig out the drain next to the lake.

We might just have enough hose now to run back to the main passage. but Im not a fan of having too much gubbins lying around the cave. A pipe there would encroach on the normal East canal trip and look unsightly.

Ive not been to the other side yet. but it may be a better option to lay the pipe though the sump (from the dam) up and over the other side - that way - you can prime/pump the syphon from the dam, but it will flow out down the filthy 5. Need to assess the heights/distances involved.

Like I say - I think the neatest option will be to clear out that little rift to give us enough height for the siphon to work.

Offline SamT

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« Reply #36 on: March 09, 2006, 05:54:02 pm »
Had another go last night.

Tried several things

The drain by the lake is proving difficult to dig -
It looks as though that at its current depth, we are on the cusp of having a siphon effect.
We are about 1 or meters down now and its narrow - so that head first its getting harder to pull stuff out - plus its quite choked with mud, not just loose rubble. We had a long metal bar with us in the hope that we could 'broddle' a way down through it.

If another meter or so depth could be gained then Im sure it will siphon well.

We then tried running the rest of the hose all the way back to the main passage. The hose was just long enough - and whilst Im sure there is more of a drop - the increased length means added friction and it still didnt seem to want to siphon.

Andy  - I assume it was you that hung the bucket in the roof at the dam in a swildons mud sump stylee) Did you have much success.

There are 3 options open to us now.

1: dig the rift another meter deeper.
2: hang a good bucket/funnel combo as high as possile in the roof by the sump and bail into that so that the water drains back along the hose and down the drain.
3: investigate laying our two long hoses from the dam - through the sump - up and over the lip and down the filthy five pitch..

I favour haveing a look at no. 3.

Johnny - you got any air in your tanks.

Offline SamT

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St Valentines Sump
« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2006, 12:55:47 pm »
too quote shakespear "'The better part of valour is discretion"

After watching the snow slowly start to cover our kit as we unpacked the care we decided to bag off the trip lastnight on the grounds that if there was one place in the peak we might get snowed in - then it was at the giants car park.

The very ensthusiastic plan was to dive the sump - drag the hose though
, set it up to drop down the filthy five so that you can prime the syphon using the pump - and it syphons over the other side.

Shame since Im sure the crabwalk would have been quite exciting - what with all the snow melt. (yes - it warmed up a bit and didnt really snow that much  :roll: )

So - does anyone (pit lamp??) know exactly how tight the exit is - could you fit through with bottles on.

Also - Im after an estimate of the head that has to be overcome on the far side, and a distance to the first pitch. Any info appreciated

Andy Stewart

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St Valentines Sump
« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2006, 04:45:14 pm »
The other way to get to the far side of the sump is to swim the east canal and up the filthy five pitches, maybe even putting in new bolts on the way. The sump could be siphoned from this side in theory. If I get around to it I'll try to go for this option ....................

Offline SamT

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« Reply #39 on: March 23, 2006, 06:19:51 pm »
The boys are doing a trip tonight up the filthy five to have a look at the other side. (Im at work  :(  )

Andy the plan is to pull the hose though the sump (via either a diver or tying the hose to the insitu dive line and pulling it through.)

The hose will then start at the eating house side of the sump - go though the sump - up and over and down the filthy five. Using the pump - the hose can then be primed and the syphon effect should then take over. Draining the sump down the filthy five

We'll see how the boys get on tonight.

Offline SamT

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« Reply #40 on: March 23, 2006, 06:19:51 pm »
The boys are doing a trip tonight up the filthy five to have a look at the other side. (Im at work  :(  )

Andy the plan is to pull the hose though the sump (via either a diver or tying the hose to the insitu dive line and pulling it through.)

The hose will then start at the eating house side of the sump - go though the sump - up and over and down the filthy five. Using the pump - the hose can then be primed and the syphon effect should then take over. Draining the sump down the filthy five

We'll see how the boys get on tonight.

Offline Johnny

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St Valentines Sump
« Reply #41 on: March 24, 2006, 10:41:55 am »
Excellent trip! To Filthy Five a wallow about in the far side of Valentines and back at the cars in 2.5 hours.
The exit to the sump is tight, about 30cm high and 75cm wide, flat floor of packed mud arched, solid roof.
A short gravel slope rises steeply by 1.5m to a flat floor which has a further rise of approx 0.5m, (2m head required). The passage runs 20 - 25m to the first pitch of the Filthy Five where theres as much drop as you want.
Your plan looks feasable SamT but it probably involves me getting very wet, bugger!
Best plan would be to use the line through the sump to pull the hose through and dive it should the thing get snagged.
Onwards to glory!

Offline SamT

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« Reply #42 on: March 24, 2006, 11:58:25 am »
Nice one lads - sounds like a plan.

Hopefully the pump there will be beefy enough to over come 2m head.

Offline jasonbirder

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St Valentines Sump
« Reply #43 on: March 24, 2006, 01:58:56 pm »
Saw you lads in Giants last night...
The speed you lot monkeyed up the ladder without breaking sweat while we were still faffing about with Lifeline and an approach line reminded me how far we've got to go before we're "proper" cavers!
On the plus side we spotted your missing crowbar in the pool...on the minus side my brother (last man up the pitch) left it at the bottom....

Offline SamT

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« Reply #44 on: March 24, 2006, 10:24:30 pm »
Quote from: "jasonbirder"
Saw you lads in Giants last night...
The speed you lot monkeyed up the ladder without breaking sweat while we were still faffing about with Lifeline and an approach line reminded me how far we've got to go before we're "proper" cavers!


Isnt there a thread on here somewhere about that :wink:

Quote

On the plus side we spotted your missing crowbar in the pool...on the minus side my brother (last man up the pitch) left it at the bottom....


 :lol:

doh - so at least its still there.

Offline SamT

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« Reply #45 on: April 08, 2006, 05:56:20 pm »
So - nearly there now.

On thursday - I tied the hose to the dive line - went round the far side and pulled it though - went like a dream with no snags or anything.

So now - the hose is laid through the sump - up -  over and down the first two pithes of the filty five. (Id say we had a good 15 meter drop on the far side - do providing we can pump water up over the top - it should have a hell of a siphon going.

Unfortunately - we didnt have enough time left to go back round and attach the pump to try it out - so that will have to wait till next week.

Finger crossed.

Oh - and found the crowbar on the way back - so bonus. (cheers jason for stashing it!!).

Offline SamT

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« Reply #46 on: April 13, 2006, 03:31:44 pm »
well - finally - the siphon works.  :D  :D  :D

The hose was easily primed by the pump (use slow and steady strokes on the pump).

I found there was a much better flow if the pump was removed from the hose again but beware putting your thumb over the end of the hose to test the suction - it was that strong I nearly lost my thumb!!.

You need a screwdriver to tighten the jublilee clips (it may be worth taking a couple of spare clips (about 1 and a half inch  diameter)

After about an hour the passage sump had deroofed but was still not passable, I had to leave at that point which was very frustrating. Also - at this point - the end of the hose had to be put further into the sump i.e. deeper to avoid breaking surface. (you could do this as soon as you start)

I had tried bailing a bit into the original drain hole (which was taking a small trickle when I arrived) but it soon backed up.
I guess you could bail a load back behind the dam too - which would reduce the time it takes to empty.

I packed a bag with the last of the crap  (rope, rags, rusty tins, Ever ready batteries, plastic sheeting, broken buckets etc.) that has being lying around for centuries - so thanks to the Eldon lads for carting it out for me last night.

So there you go - its all there ready to do. Please take care to leave the place as you find it.

Caution - the pitches beyond are all still rigged off manky crabs and all sorts of tat so descend/ascend at your own risk.
Hopefully, in time, these will be replaced by nice shiny DCA  pull through systems.

BenM

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Re: St Valentines Sump
« Reply #47 on: November 13, 2006, 01:04:58 pm »
Wow.. this is dragging up and old topic! Anyway..
Saturday me and Glen attempted the Giants figure 8. After setting the siphon going at around 2pm we headed off down Geology (leaving it rigged, just in case ;)). After a swim through the east cannal, and a wonderfully dodgy prusuk up filthy 5, we finally reached the other side of St V's at around 3:30pm.

And.. it was still sumped  :'(. After sticking my head down into it, and having a feel around - we decided it was no good, and turned around.

On our way out, we again checked the sump at about 5:00pm... and still sumped  :furious:!! But it had certainly dropped. Probably around 20cm, with still 10cm of head left on the pipe which I had trapped to the floor as far in as possible. We had gained around 6m of airspace.   

So by our calculations, you would have maximum of around 5h siphoning (before the pipe broke the surface), and then still nobody knows if its passable or not... by which time, you could have easily got around to the other side!

Oh well, at least now we know!

Offline SamT

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Re: St Valentines Sump
« Reply #48 on: November 13, 2006, 01:35:36 pm »
Hmm - funny you should drag this up. Im off down there tomorrow.

I have been intending to double up the pipes for some time now - effectively halving the time it take to drain.

I'd like to ascertain a few things.

A, how high was the sump when you arrived.
- level with the pipe at the bottom of the dam wall.
- level with the top of the dam wall
- above or below these two points.

B, How far in did you take the pipe. There is a small chamber about 6 meters in. you can just about stoop in it and the level of the water deepens a bit.
This is where I place the pipe.

C, Was the syphon still going when you went back round.

D, 6 meters airspace from where to where.


Im guessing (hoping) that the water level was very high to start with, remember as a sump emptys - it will drop increasing quickly, as there is a smaller volumn of water (think cross sectional area of the passage) at the bottom.

I'll be interested to see how much its come back up by tomorrow (damn saturdays rain!!)

I was thinking of having a couple of ropes tied to the end of the pipe, that way - you can pull one to retrieve it from the depths, set the sypone going - and pull the other one (via  a mallion) to pull it into the deepest bit.




Offline SamT

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Re: St Valentines Sump
« Reply #49 on: November 13, 2006, 01:44:51 pm »
Anyone fancy a trip down there tomorrow night to help maul two rolls more of hose down.

2 bodies would be most helpful, we're meeting at 7pm at the car park.