Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Water pipes in need of a by-pass...


Reading a story in a Swedish newspaper about the state of the water pipes made me think about the water being transported from the water works to our taps in the Greatest Britain. This summer we have had some enormous rainfall resulting in flooding and despair for thousands of people. Those who did not loose their positions like my friend Mr JW. He saw his pride possessions in a converted Barn sitting pretty in 4ft of muddy water. Imagine when you have just one floor, no upper floor, the amount of items which are below 4ft…crazy…

Mr JW is pretty cool about it; he handed over the keys to the builders who kindly told him “see you in a year” and moved to London into rented accommodation which the insurance company pays for. He is one of the lucky ones. I imagine there is a huge amount of people out there, which cannot get any insurance, to cover them in these eventualities.

I did not suffer very much, the extent of damage was two pots in the garden which now have some unsightly white marks indicating the level of the water when it was at its worse. I decided not to call the insurance company as the value of the pots was less than the payment I had pay them for claiming…so from now on we will have a reminder of the water every time we look at these pots…perhaps they can be washed, the are made out of plastic you know…anyway…back to water…

We did have some inconvenience with regards to the flooding; the water was shut off for a fortnight, very inconvenient. The water works was flooded so they could not pump clean water to the taps. We ended up receiving water bottles on a daily basis, to use for drinking, cooking and flushing the toilets…as I have perhaps mentioned earlier I have a swimming pool so I was able to bail out water from the pool to use for flushing toilets…annoying though, that you had to take perfectly nice water and flush down when I could spend time in the pool instead…

Once the water returned to the taps it came out all funny…brownish sludgy and not very appetising, but hey we had water again…it occurred to me that the Greatest British water companies such a as Severn Trent Water and Thames Water has always complained about the state of their pipes and how many leaks there are…”They are from the Victorian times” we are repeatedly told…”difficult to repair”...expensive more likely which is why you don’t do anything about it…

Well looking at the picture from a Swedish cast iron pipe recently dug up in Southern part of Sweden. I think we should start worrying about what the heck we have in the pipes…

The pipe in the picture was put down in the 30’s, this having served just 70 – 80 years providing to happy Swedes with drinking water…well it appears to me that the artery network of water is clogged and perhaps a by-pass is needed.

Don’t you just wish we had the ability to see the Greatest British pipes and the state they are in? Well perhaps not, we still have to drink the water….

© Barbro Hallin, Helsingborgs Dagblad

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mad dogs and Englishmen


Deluge…in mythology, a great flood as an act of retribution to destroy civilisation…or as the Environment Agency says, once every 200 years…which would clearly discount the great flood of 1947…well what would they know anyway?

What I cannot understand is the explanations why it was flooded? Everyone is looking at the adverse weather conditions, climate change as the reasons. The Telegraph is even going as far as claiming that we are stuck with Sweden’s weather…rubbish…if that was the case why is my brother sunning himself and lighting the “Barbie” when I am trying to buy a canoe…

The fact is that whilst flooding occurs when the rivers rise, they burst their banks and water goes onto a floodplain which soaks the water up. Now when the rivers burst their banks the water ends up in Mrs Jones front garden because she so wanted to buy that affordable home with a river view…tarmac and concrete as we know are pretty bad in soaking up water. I have some 500sqm of tarmac at my property which is served by three…yes three tiny drains…so when you get 140mm of rain per sqm in one hour, it is going to be difficult to remove it. I have of course ensured that I have “run off areas”, in to paddocks and fields which solves the problem, for how long I don’t know, if the government follows John “Two Jags” Prescott’s plan I will wake up one morning with 400 Mrs Jones squealing in my back garden because her begonias are swamped…It is not brain surgery it is bloody common sense…

Today after riots settled at Tesco’s car park in Quedgeley, Gloucestershire, The Greatest Britain, during a water distribution session, one local who is 91 and fought in WWII put it home to us “I once went 5 days without water in Burma, and I have seen men go mad from thirst”…well I am sure had health and safety not closed the pubs down, due to inability to flush the loos, the country would have been a bit calmer…perhaps when Gordon Brown’s 15,000 portable toilets arrive we will see a difference…I am sure we will be able to smell it…

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