Author Topic: Vacuum powered valve chamber?  (Read 406 times)

Kim

  • Timelord
Vacuum powered valve chamber?
« on: 08 June, 2021, 11:41:55 pm »
Someone on here will know what it is.  The village of Stock Green, which I was riding through on my bicycle, has these little posts on the verge at regular intervals.  They have plates with identifying numbers, and on closer inspection, at least one was labelled "vacuum powered valve chamber".

https://goo.gl/maps/yQfGCueScov3vpnD7

So, what's the valve for?  I assume it's not a pneumatic-tube-to-the-premises small parcel delivery system.  Some sort of centrally-controlled pumped drainage arrangement?

Looking again on google maps, they do seem to correspond with drainagey-looking manhole covers.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Tim Hall

  • Victoria is my queen
Re: Vacuum powered valve chamber?
« Reply #1 on: 09 June, 2021, 08:47:20 am »
Paging matthew. matthew to the sewage sludge coloured coutesy telephone please.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Re: Vacuum powered valve chamber?
« Reply #2 on: 09 June, 2021, 11:31:14 am »
Are these in any way similar to the 'Pollution Control Valves' which are signposted along bits of the M25 ?
Rust never sleeps

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Vacuum powered valve chamber?
« Reply #3 on: 09 June, 2021, 12:13:09 pm »
Are these in any way similar to the 'Pollution Control Valves' which are signposted along bits of the M25 ?

Ah, those I know about: Basically a valve they can close to stop the run-off from the road ending up wherever normally drains to, so that the spilt diesel/firefighting agent/baked beans slick/whatever doesn't pollute the environment.  Presumably a tanker can come along and pump out the holding tank[1] after the emergency is dealt with.

Nice video about such things: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdcXmerZWDc


[1] Which mainly exists to regulate the flow of run-off into whatever watercourse it discharges into.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Vacuum powered valve chamber?
« Reply #4 on: 09 June, 2021, 12:13:57 pm »
IDK specifically about this location, but it sounds like a vacuum sewerage system.  Stock Green is on the edge of a high floor risk brook to the north
https://www.getthedata.com/flood-map/stock-green
so it's possible that insufficient pipework falls are possible for normal gravity drainage.  I've not heard of a vacuum solution before, this is normally dealt with by a pumping station and a rising main, but a quick search engine session finds things like this:
https://www.iseki-vacuum.com/how-it-works/valve-chambers/
and then
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_sewer#Water_protection_areas,_environmental_use
Given the risk of high water table and risk of ground water contamination in event of a leak, the use of a system operating below atmospheric pressure means that any leaks will be into the system and not out.

Could be something totally different though.

Kim

  • Timelord
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Vacuum powered valve chamber?
« Reply #6 on: 09 June, 2021, 12:40:10 pm »
Inkberrow – there's a vaguely spooky looking probably military communications type building there. I rode past it once by accident. There were no black helicopters but it was before 5G. Assuming it's the same Inkberrow. Anyway, that's nothing to do with these vacuum powered valve chambers (unless it really is a pneumatic tube system for delivering top secret messages!)
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Vacuum powered valve chamber?
« Reply #7 on: 09 June, 2021, 12:48:36 pm »
Inkberrow – there's a vaguely spooky looking probably military communications type building there. I rode past it once by accident. There were no black helicopters but it was before 5G. Assuming it's the same Inkberrow. Anyway, that's nothing to do with these vacuum powered valve chambers (unless it really is a pneumatic tube system for delivering top secret messages!)

This one? https://www.subbrit.org.uk/sites/inkberrow-roc-post/

The aerials on the tower certainly look a bit 5Gish - at least in the sense that they're bog standard cellular aerials.

ETA: Apparently Mercury were in the folly-building business.  https://thefollyflaneuse.com/towers-and-telecommunications-follies-as-phone-masts/
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Vacuum powered valve chamber?
« Reply #8 on: 09 June, 2021, 12:53:26 pm »
No. I was thinking of one further south, though I'm pretty sure it's also Worcestershire. A long low building surrounded by razor wire and guards.

Edit: No, it's not. I was confusing it with a similar, but different, name.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Vacuum powered valve chamber?
« Reply #9 on: 13 June, 2021, 12:07:56 pm »
Paging matthew. matthew to the sewage sludge coloured coutesy telephone please.

Sorry Tim, I only work with Potable water now.

However it appears that Kim has found the answer. The normal choice is to have a sewer that flows by gravity down to a pumping station and then to the WwTW. However it appears that in a situation like this where the land is low, and/or the water table is high, it is impossible to create the necessary fall to a pumping station. As the houses all have a septic tank which would historically have been emptied by a vacuum tanker, they have have effectively installed a permanent tanker system. The sewer operates below atmospheric pressure which is equivalent of raising the houses compared to the pipes by 4-6m.