Saturday, 17 October 2009

Moat House Bridge Sump Aqueduct

Moat House Bridge Sump Aqueduct
Staffs and Worcester

I am developing quite an affection for the humble sump aqueduct.

It had never really occurred to me that crossing a watercourse which flows neither above nor below the level of a canal would cause a problem, but it does. What do you do if the surface level of the stream is below the surface level of the canal, but above the level of the canal bed?

Moat House Bridge sump aqueduct

The answer has to be to force the water down a submarine culvert which burrows under the canal track, and then pops up again on the far side. A solution which is similar to the humble U bend under your sink. The problem with this solution is that if something heavy falls down the sump it probably won't be washed out the other side and, over time, an accumulation of these 'somethings', say bricks, will block the sump and need clearing out, which is no mean feat when it is completely full of water.

There is an original sump aqueduct just below Deptmore Lock further along the Staffs and Worcester, but this one has clearly been renewed at some point and the original brick duct replaced with a series of strudy concrete pipes.

All in all not much to look at, but an ingenious solution to a very real problem.

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