Oakley Green, Fifield and District Community Association Ltd
Once more unto the ditch ...
Environment - 27.02.2011
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OGAFCA volunteers on Oakley Green Road at Braywood Lodge.


Since the copy deadline for the Winter Newsletter and our Drainage update report 05 Streetcare notified us that their intention was to carry out the jetting of the underground pipe we had requested at Braywood Lodge on the Oakley Green Road during the last week of February or the first week of March. Our full drainage report of 9 "wet spots" had noted that the ditch at the outflow of this pipe was silted up such that the majority of the pipe opening was covered. So we had to get our skates on (well ... our wellies anyway !) to clear the inflow and outflow of the pipe so that the jetting could take place.

At 2pm on Sunday 20 February 2011 five OGAFCA volunteers turned out with spades to get the work done.

Full details of this item 3 in our "9 wet spots" drainage report can be seen by downloading the report from the main Environment page. But to summarise - a ditch flows north off the higher ground of the Drift Road and down along the boundary of Braywood Lodge where it then enters the manhole chamber at the new bus stop. Over many years in times of heavy rainfall this has backed up to the point where it floods the garden and driveway and threatens the Lodge House itself.

Debris and silt had backed up at the inflow to the manhole chamber so that only the top quarter of the pipe was allowing water to pass. OGAFCA volunteers Nick Pellew and Gren Annetts tackled the clearance of this and the stretch of ditch leading to it.

At the outflow of the underground pipe heading east from the manhole along the southern verge of Oakley Green Road the ditch was effectively damned by rubble and debris (including a hub cap !) from a small bridge that was demolished in a road accident some years ago. Silt in the bottom of the ditch had built up against this, effectively raising the level of the water about 10 inches above the top of the pipe and drastically reducing the effective capacity of the pipe.

To clear all this and increase the depth of the ditch bed OGAFCA volunteers Phil Mortimer, Michael Seagrief and Rod Lord were joined by the Resident of the eastern Lodge House along whose frontage the roadside ditch runs. This Resident kindly offered to clear all the rubble and spoil that was excavated and this was duly done as promised on Monday 21 February.

After sufficient work was done to allow the pipe jetting to take place some very delicious and welcome tea and biscuits was supplied to all by Valerie, the Resident of Braywood Lodge.

On checking the flow a week later the outflow of the pipe is completely clear and the water level in the ditch has dropped to expose the pipe completely, even after fairly consistent rain. As a result the capacity of the pipe to deal with extreme water flow has been increased significantly and we have great hopes that this will at least delay considerably the point at which the property becomes threatened. Once the jetting has been carried out this should ensure that it will be some time before the build up of silt again causes a problem for these properties. We can then sign off item 3 in our "wet spot" list - leaving 7 to go !

The Environment Work Group is very grateful to the willing workers - Gren Annetts, Phil Mortimer, Nick Pellew and Michael Seagrief - and also of course to the Resident of the eastern Lodge House who not only laboured in the flow of water but also removed the spoil.

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