Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sewage problem closes beach

A bit of bad plumbing at a sewage plant in Leith Nr Edinburgh caused the closure of a beach on the Firth of Forth over the weekend with police and "wardens" patrolling the area to stop members of the public exercising their dogs and children in the shit.

Two questions - how stupid would you have to be to insist on still taking your constitutional Sunday morning walk on the beach when its covered in shit, and do the local council keep these "wardens" in a cupboard somewhere ready for such an event - where do "wardens" suddenly appear from whenever something like this happens ?

Anyhow, it didn't use to be like this when ah wor nobbut a lad, oh no...

1978 found me staying in contractors "digs" in Whitley Bay for several months and one of our fellow residents was a young builder called Eric...

Eric was a Barnsley lad with a big beaming face and a mop of curly blond hair. Unusually for a building worker he stayed at the guest house by himself and was working for a company who were extending the sewer outfall pipe just offshore from Whitley Bay. The pipe was being laid a couple of hundred yards beyond the low water mark and at that time it carried raw sewage from the area, the solution to beach polution in the 1970’s was to just make the sewage outfall pipes a bit longer and hope that the raw untreated sewage was carried out far enough for it not to wash back onshore.

Eric’s job was to align each of the concrete sections of pipe and then cement them into place but of course they could only work when the tide was out and could not stop the sewage from flowing while they worked and when they got beyond the low water mark they worked inside pontoons which were sunk to the seabed then pumped out, it was dangerous work and could only be done according to the tides so some weeks we didn’t see much of Eric as he would be working a night shift, but there was never a dull moment when he was working days.

On days when he finished work around 6pm he would come into the guest house as we were all sitting down to our rat pie and chips and with a cheery wave he’d walk into the dining room and inform us that he’d been inside a six foot high pipe, knee deep in sewage all day and then show us his fingernails to prove it, which tended to put you off your rat pie somewhat.

Another time he explained how they’d been sent further up the main sewer where the flow was so fierce and deep that you had to wear a harness and rope or face being sucked down the sewer and eventually be flung out a mile out to sea, he’d tied the rope on and lowered himself chest deep into the flow, holding onto a chain on the wall to replace some broken bricks.

On other occasions the sewage flow was much less and one evening over the dining table he told us of the monster turd that had drifted lazily by him that afternoon, it was by all accounts over a foot long and had three "rest marks" on it and he’d measured it with a brick as it floated by but feared that the person who had laid it had probably perished soon afterwards as a few minutes later a flat cap floated by.

Full story at the jerrychicken web site.

1 comment:

Kody said...

that is quite possibly the funniest thing I have ever read, thought I may have a predilection for "turd" humour.