Author Topic: The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"  (Read 2134 times)

Online A_Northerner

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The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"
« on: September 28, 2017, 06:37:47 pm »
The "Great P8 Cleanup" consists of shifting all the crap that can be found in Keith "Ben" Bentham's old dig out of P8. Preliminary work last Summer consisted of collecting all the old digging kit into one big pile and filling up as many old dig trays as we could in preparation for taking it all out. The project is being carried out by members of SUSS with help from the DCA and the P8 Farmer, but we welcome help from anyone!

I never knew Ben but I've spent a fair few days in his dig over the last 4 years, surveying, digging and clearing - Jesus Christ could that man dig!

At the current count we have 27 broken dig trays to get out of P8, they seem to be 50L water containers and every single one has the bottom broken out! It seems Ben just brought more in every time one broke and he didn't bother taking them out (it would eat into precious digging time!) Of the 27 containers 7 are filled with old digging stuff; cables, chain, rope, tool handles, tubing and conveyor matting. Anything salvageable as digging kit has been moved into the face of Ben's Dig as I intend to carry it on.

The plan is to move all 20 empty trays from Ben's Dig into Mud Chamber, then use rubble sacks to carry the 7 trays of loose rubbish there afterwards. We will then move all the empty trays to the small chamber just inside the entrance, followed once again by the loose stuff (I'm yet to work out the best way to move all this stuff with the P8 traverses, pitches and thin streamway!).

The last move will be to remove all the rubbish from the entrance to a skip placed in the P8 Car Park. The DCA has kindly offered to hire a skip for a day to aid in this project, and I'm talking with the landowner to ask for any help he could provide us with to allow an easy extraction.

If I can convince the SUSS Photographers to join me down there I'll try and get some pictures of the cleanup in action!

- Today's efforts (28/9/17) - Myself, Corin, Jreg and James headed out early in the morning to get started on the cleanup, we explored the far reaches of Ben's Dig, during which I realised I'd forgotten just how many trays Ben had down there! I thought it was about 10... We moved them all to the top of the climb that leads out of the streamway and "carefully" dropped all the empty ones into the water below, with Jreg downstream to shepherd them into a pile. We then clipped three trays each to ourselves and proceeded to traverse over the streamway with three huge trays dangling between our legs like a triad of swollen knackers. Two such shuttles was all it took to take the 20 empty trays from the bottom of the dig into Mud Chamber, located just out of the streamway upstream of the climb to Ben's Dig.

In Mud Chamber there now sits a large pile of broken dig trays ready to be joined by 7 more, filled with digging tat.

Next trip planned is Tuesday 3rd October, if the introduction of University Freshers to the club allows for the time that is! I'll keep this thread updated with progress.

Thanks to the DCA for help with this, and thanks to the guys from SUSS who drove/carried oversized dig trays out of a squalid passage for me!
Yes I can hear you Clem Fandango

Offline pwhole

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Re: The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2017, 11:13:40 pm »
Great work guys, and well done for getting this moving again. Given what I've heard about that area though, I would try and install as much forced ventilation as possible. I remember climbing into that big muddy crater on the one visit I made, and thinking "It's really hard to breathe in here". But radon exposure is potentially a bigger problem if you're doing long, regular digging sessions in there.

Online A_Northerner

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Re: The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2017, 12:58:42 pm »
Ventilation is a concern, yeah. Luckily we have our noses in a few digs in that area so we can always cycle them to reduce exposure while we look into ventilation solutions.
Yes I can hear you Clem Fandango

Offline pwhole

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Re: The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2017, 05:41:46 pm »
A small chimney to surface from Christmas Aven? With a steam whistle. "Toot!"  :halo:

Online A_Northerner

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Re: The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2017, 12:38:20 pm »
26/10/17

Team of SUSS and Eldon went back down on a Thursday to get some photos for Descent (short article will be featured in the next issue). Moved the 6 remaining dig trays + some other crap we found out of the dig passages entirely. All the rubbish is now in Mud Chamber ready to be brought further out of the cave.
Yes I can hear you Clem Fandango

Offline Pete K

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Re: The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2017, 12:57:33 pm »
I was in P8 on Saturday with clients. I have to say, that is one big pile of rubbish to come out! Good job guys.

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Re: The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2017, 02:13:59 pm »
7/11/17

4 SUSS went down to Mud Chamber to see how far we could take the 20 empty Green Boys (as we are now calling them) - using a shuttling method, a zip-line across the traverse and despite several being dropped into the streamway due a short-sighted fresher, we managed to get all 20 Green Boys to just inside the entrance. Please don't disturb them, I've tried to get them out of the way as best I can!

All that remains is now to get the 6 remaining full trays and associated crap out to the entrance and into a skip.
Yes I can hear you Clem Fandango

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Re: The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2018, 11:13:39 pm »
P8 Cleanup is now complete!

We managed to drag out the trays from the entrance in a single push on 25/4/18

Big thanks to all who helped.



Pile of trays in the car park



One car-full



Two car-fulls
Yes I can hear you Clem Fandango

Offline pwhole

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Re: The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2018, 12:18:30 pm »
Great work folks - well done. Another one sorted ;)

Online Topimo

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Re: The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2018, 02:16:41 pm »
It's amazing how much more you can fit in a Golf than a Kangoo when the owner doesn't care about cleanlisness!

In my defense mine is a woodworking project at the moment...

Offline SamT

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Re: The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2018, 02:20:47 pm »
 :thumbsup:  :clap2:  :bow:

Offline Goydenman

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Re: The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2018, 07:30:41 pm »
Big well done team

Offline Pete K

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Re: The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2018, 10:02:47 pm »
On behalf of the DCA, thank you for a job well done. Please let me know if you incurred any costs in the end with disposal and I'll see what I can shake out of the treasurer.

Offline pwhole

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Re: The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2018, 04:42:01 pm »
Just out of interest, did the plastic seem any 'different' to how new stuff might be? Especially brittle or anything? Just wondering whether 20+ years underground in a very damp, high radon environment has any structural effect. I guess just a visual would be difficult to estimate.

Unless they were actually black when they went in...?  :o

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Re: The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2018, 06:40:12 pm »
Just out of interest, did the plastic seem any 'different' to how new stuff might be? Especially brittle or anything? Just wondering whether 20+ years underground in a very damp, high radon environment has any structural effect. I guess just a visual would be difficult to estimate.

Unless they were actually black when they went in...?  :o

There's still one in the back garden I can drop off with you if you want a poke at it?

Can't say I noticed anything when we were pulling them out, but I was focusing on task at hand (getting it finished as quickly as possible to make way for digging time!).

I'll kick it when I next walk past and report back.

Offline Trig Gledhill

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Re: The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2018, 09:43:01 pm »
Epic!

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Re: The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2018, 02:34:49 pm »
I've just had a sample cut from one of the drag trays tested and can state that it is the wonder material that is polyethylene.

Unscientifically, it does not seem especially brittle or anything pwhole.

Offline pwhole

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Re: The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2018, 03:37:59 pm »
That's good to know - thanks for making the effort. I'm guessing that the greatest deteriorating factor on most plastics is UV, and if there is none, then it's probably got an indefinite lifespan.

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Re: The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2018, 04:52:26 pm »
PE has very low water absorbency compared to say, PA.

0.02 % vs 1.20 % [1][2]

Hence humidity won't come into play. I previously had manufactured a Nylon device mount for an underwater ROV, it was only for a one-off, short exposure, low-pressure use case so it survived.

Radon is outside of my field, but this study could be of relevance if someone with access could pass a copy on:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168583X97004114

[1] https://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=421
[2] https://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=477



Online andrewmc

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Re: The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2018, 08:09:01 pm »
 As a noble gas I would expect radon to have absolutely zero chemical effect on basically anything?

And I suspect if the radioactivity was strong enough to induce any material alteration we'd all being glowing green :p

(Accuracy statement: Radon itself has a very high activity but very low abundance so levels of observed radioactivity are low, which is what I mean by not 'strong')

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Re: The Great P8 Cleanup - or "Trays for Days"
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2018, 08:15:44 pm »
Radon is outside of my field, but this study could be of relevance if someone with access could pass a copy on:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168583X97004114

The way I read that abstract, they are looking at drums full of highly radioactive waste which produce a trace amount of radon gas, and they want to keep the radon in (presumably until it decays into something which is not a gas). So they are assuming the radiation is coming from the radioactive waste, not the radon (hence looking at gamma rather than radon) and the only part where radon comes in is how well it leaks through a damaged polymer liner.