Author Topic: Smell of oil in Poachers  (Read 931 times)

Offline Wardy

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Smell of oil in Poachers
« on: July 30, 2017, 08:16:26 pm »
Went for a trip down Poachers today and as we approached the entrance we noticed a smell of oil in the woods.
Once inside it became obvious the smell was being carried out from within on the draft.
We were tempted to abort the trip, but decided to see what was happening in the streamway - assuming it was coming from there.
Before we got to the streamway as we crossed the rock bridge it became clear that it was coming up from the lower levels. Once past this the smell disappeared and the streamway was clean and smell free.
Presumably the smell is coming from the somewhere below - maybe the seal level tunnel?
Once on the surface we continued along to Hesp Alyn and did a short trip to the canal and back.
There were no smells at all in OHA, but on the walk back the stench from Poachers was really strong.
The question is therefore who has polluted a water course and where as it has a direct airborne link to Poachers, but apparently not to Hesp Alyn?

Online alastairgott

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Re: Smell of oil in Poachers
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2017, 09:02:17 pm »

Could be one to report to natural resources Wales in the first instance, it's their responsibility.


If NRW need any help, they know where we are.


If you want me to report it for you, I can do. :D

Online Ian Adams

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Re: Smell of oil in Poachers
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2017, 09:47:07 pm »
I was in Poachers on Monday and there was no smell then.

Poachers and OHA do not appear to connect (from the two surveys).

There has, however, been significant recent movement within the lower levels of Poachers and the close proximity of the sewer farm may be relevant?

Unhelpful I know .....

 ::)

Ian
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Offline Wardy

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Re: Smell of oil in Poachers
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2017, 10:07:46 pm »
Alastair - in line with your thoughts I think it should be reported and all you have to do to check it is walk past the entrance and it stinks for 50 metres or more downwind. If you can report I would be grateful thanks.

Ian - My thoughts are that this is a clear test between the source of the pollution and Poachers. I assumed the source to be lower down and as the test is airborne then the route is open even if small. The lack of smell in OHA makes an open link from the source to there less likely.

Overall however someone or something has created some pretty nasty pollution and that is unacceptable even if it proves a link.
Pete

Offline cavemanmike

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Re: Smell of oil in Poachers
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2017, 11:25:36 pm »
If it is in the lower series it might be worth checking the riverbed where the river feeds the waterfall in the lower series .will try and send someone on Thursday

Online Dave Tyson

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Re: Smell of oil in Poachers
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2017, 12:09:56 am »
I don't think the Milwr (sea level) tunnel would be associated with the pollution as its 500' below. It may be there is another water source which is now active in the lower series and is bringing pollution in. As Ian has noted there have been significant changes in the lower series in the last couple of years and there have been other changes near the junction with boss chamber. Given the hydrology in the Alyn gorge seems to be changing markedly in the last few years it wouldn't surprise if a new flow became active, but that begs the question where the pollution is coming from.

I guess a visit to the lower series to sus things out is needed.  There is nothing in the immediate area apart from the sewage farm, but I wouldn't think they have a big stock of oil as I think most of the pumps etc. are electric.

Good to report it to NRW.

Off topic: Alistair, did you get a reply from NRW about cave monitoring - IIRC you asked them about a month ago and they promised a reply in 20 working days...

Dave

Online Ian Adams

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Re: Smell of oil in Poachers
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2017, 07:27:19 am »
If it is in the lower series it might be worth checking the riverbed where the river feeds the waterfall in the lower series .will try and send someone on Thursday


The river (on Monday last) wasn't making it as far as the waterfall - in fact, I walked from Loggerheads and it was entirely dry from within 100 yards of Loggerheads tea hut, Even the resurgence near the Cilcain bridge car park was dry........

 :-\

Ian
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Offline cavemanmike

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Re: Smell of oil in Poachers
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2017, 07:56:15 am »
Guess where your going on Thursday IAN  :lol: :lol:

Online Ian Adams

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Re: Smell of oil in Poachers
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2017, 08:48:01 am »
Much more inclined to go to Devil's Gorge .......
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Online alastairgott

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Re: Smell of oil in Poachers
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2017, 09:36:00 am »
If it is in the lower series it might be worth checking the riverbed where the river feeds the waterfall in the lower series .will try and send someone on Thursday

Mike, you could go and check it out yourself with a view to monitoring the response by NRW, as far as 'fixing' the problem, I wouldn't go that far until asked.

Dave, I did get a reply on Monday last week, I have (only) just posted up on the original topic. http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=22148.msg281895#msg281895

I might be wise to await instruction from them regarding any remedial work if they decide it's needed.

Online alastairgott

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Re: Smell of oil in Poachers
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2017, 01:44:42 pm »
Reported, I've given my details, so I'll see if they call back with an update later in the week.

On the phone, they asked if it had a rainbow sheen to it?

but you said there was only a smell.

Offline Wardy

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Re: Smell of oil in Poachers
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2017, 01:55:25 pm »
Alastair
Thanks for reporting as I am working abroad today.

To be clear there was no smell or trace in the upper streamway.

All the smell was coming from the lower streamway and as it was so strong, plus I had a few others with me we did not go and look down there.

The pollution was therefore either coming up from lower down in the drainage system or an inlet that joins lower down.

Hope that explains
Thanks
Pete

Online alastairgott

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Re: Smell of oil in Poachers
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2017, 02:04:48 pm »
Perhaps it could be time for some dye tracing, paid for by NRW?

Online alastairgott

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Re: Smell of oil in Poachers
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2017, 02:27:10 pm »
He's rung me back. I've got a reference number for the incident: 1704096.

Mike, if you are going back later on this week, please could you update them?
(they said it would be useful).
 The number is 0300 065 3000 and it doesn't take too long to get through to a human.

I've stated the importance of it regards United Utilities.

Offline Wardy

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Re: Smell of oil in Poachers
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2017, 09:55:26 pm »
Interesting that Ian said it was dry so far back upstream.
When we went down there was still no surface water near the entrance or upstream as far as Cilcain bridge,  but I did not have time to go as far as the spring just upstream.
In the cave however the stream was quite high and all the inlets were flowing well.
As Alastair says it may well be worth getting NRW to pay for a little dye tracing as things may not be as clear as previously presumed!
Pete

Online Ian Adams

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Re: Smell of oil in Poachers
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2017, 11:11:20 pm »
In the cave however the stream was quite high and all the inlets were flowing well.


Yes,  we (the club) had always associated the water with a nearby resurgence. However, that was dry when I walked it and the underground water was running as though it was unaffected.

It IS interesting.

 :)

Ian
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Offline Wardy

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Re: Smell of oil in Poachers
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2017, 09:26:04 pm »
Gents
Any updates from your Thursday adventures - the combination of all our info may prove the most interesting of all!
Wardy

Online Ian Adams

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Re: Smell of oil in Poachers
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2017, 10:47:09 pm »
I don't think there was a trip to either Poachers or the Leete cave ... I may stand (sit) corrected though ....

 :blink:

Ian
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Offline Wardy

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Re: Smell of oil in Poachers
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2017, 11:12:18 pm »
Ian
I was curious if the main drainage tunnel had any odours
Wardy

Offline TLH

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Re: Smell of oil in Poachers
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2017, 12:12:20 pm »
On Sunday the 23rd,  following an OHA trip myself and Tim noticed a white residue to be pooling near the pipe that crosses the river. By the looks of it (as it was still drying out) it had no "feeds" or means of supply as the river was dry and was literally one pool. Unsure if could possibly be linked but was moon milky substance.

I don't know if the NWCC are still surveying poachers,  but they were in there a lot not so long back whilst we were going in OHA.

Tom

Online Ian Adams

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Re: Smell of oil in Poachers
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2017, 06:28:33 pm »
Ian
I was curious if the main drainage tunnel had any odours
Wardy

No odours of any description other than "eau de cave" when I was last in there.....

 ;)

Ian
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