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Author Topic: Where does all this spring water go in Canterbury  (Read 6834 times)

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Online JohnWalker

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Re: Where does all this spring water go in Canterbury
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2013, 17:58:46 »
Thanks for that info conan. 

I think I have now worked out where most of the spring water goes so the temptation of adding some dye is no longer there.  Would have been fun though.  :)

Offline conan

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Re: Where does all this spring water go in Canterbury
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2013, 11:34:52 »
The stuff used for dye tracing underground water courses is called fluorescein, I believe its use is now frowned upon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dye_tracing
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Online JohnWalker

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Re: Where does all this spring water go in Canterbury
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2013, 13:55:37 »
UPDATE:

During my search for the courses of the springs I recently found out about this place.  Conduit House. There are four main tunnels/culverts feeding it and three of them come roughly from the direction of the springs mentioned in this thread.  I'm now wondering just how far these culverts go.  I would guess that after a while they would hit chalk as they head into the higher ground behind Conduit House.

It was built in the 13th century to provide water for the nearby St Augustines Abbey via a 3" lead pipe.  It originally had a roof but this finally collapsed in the 1980s.

The other main spring that I traced fills the large pond in the ground of Barton School, Longport which is only a couple of hundred metres from the abbey.  I'm wondering if this pond was for stocking fish for the monks.  Trying to find a map of the area before the school was built.

So - no need for dyes, most of my queries have been answered.  The dye would have been interesting though  :)

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Where does all this spring water go in Canterbury
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2013, 18:13:47 »
I like the dye option myself. I have a couple of Hi Viz vests, live in Canterbury and have a penchant for getting into trouble (it's a hobby, ok?).......

S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Online JohnWalker

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Re: Where does all this spring water go in Canterbury
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2013, 18:05:06 »
That's very interesting reading Herb Collector - thanks for that.

I just searched the area mentioned on GE in the your post and it is indeed covered with small brooks and ponds (swallow holes).  Not sure how accessable it is - a lot of it looks private but there might be footpaths through it.  A good area for a future walk.

Following the explanation it would appear that the springs I refer to must flow under the city to reach the Stour.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Where does all this spring water go in Canterbury
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2013, 16:42:48 »
  For instance - I spent a summer holiday tracing 4 of the springs which used to join together and flow into a pond next to a school.  There is no external stream/culvert after the pond but it never overflows.

Its a swallow-hole.

"It is from the above-quoted paper by Sir J. Prestvtich that the following details of swallow-holes are taken:..... It deals with the neighbourhood of Ensinge, a few miles westward of Canterbury, and the tract referred to is at the southern end of the Tertiary hills in part marked as Fishpond Wood on the old Ordnance Map (sheet 3) and "extending over the London clay and Lower Teriary sands down to the edge of the chalk. The drainage from this clay surface is carried off by several small brooks ....... having a easternly or a southerly direction....Skirting the wood from Nick-hill (Nackholt) farm westward to Lower Elmsden (Ensinge) there are to be found within a distance of about a mile as many as six or seven of these water-courses, all of which...... disappear just within the edge of the wood, in swallow holes, some of which are not more than 6 or 8 feet broad and deep, whilst others attain a diameter of 30 to 40 feet and a depth of 20 to 30. There is generally not much water in the brooks running into these funnel-shaped excavations, at the bottom of which they form a small pool, that, notwithstanding this incessant addition, remains unchanged and without rise, the water being gradually and quietly absorbed as fast as it is supplied. Only occasionally after heavy rains the water stands for a few hours some feet higher. The sides of the excavations are usually sloped with debris, grass, and bramble, and the bottom covered by a bed of sand and gravel so the chalk surface cannot often be seen. Some of the swallow holes are situated within the boundary of the Lower Tertiary sands, whilst others are just on the edge of the chalk. Between this spot and the river Stour at Shalmford Street there is a descent probably of 200 to 300 feet....... throughout which the surface of the chalk is as bare of wood as it is of water.
But on the river-bank near that village a large and perennial spring bursts out. There are, I believe, several other springs in the river, but this is a very striking one, and is apparently dependent upon the brooks lost in the swallow holes a mile distant on the hills above. not that I think that the streams are continued underground in separate and independent channels from the spot where they disappear to that at which they issue in the river-bank, but that they descend, within a short distance, through one or more channels down though the mass of the chalk, until they reach the line of permanent water-level which passes under the hills in a curve raising slightly from the river Stour and descending again towards Faversham........... The bulk of the springs are probably in the bed of the river, or low on its banks, and are therefore not so apparent." 


From The Water Supply of Kent, 1908. pages 47-48.

Online JohnWalker

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Re: Where does all this spring water go in Canterbury
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2013, 15:18:25 »
Wouldn't the Environment Agency be the people to ask? They deal with water and flood risks.
mmitch.

Good thinking mmitch - thanks  :)

Online mmitch

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Re: Where does all this spring water go in Canterbury
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 14:54:49 »
Wouldn't the Environment Agency be the people to ask? They deal with water and flood risks.
mmitch.

Offline ChrisExiledFromStrood

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Re: Where does all this spring water go in Canterbury
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2013, 09:36:49 »
Yes, it's a fascinating subject. The location of the source of the Thames varies by miles from year to year.
Still on the maps idea, some of the online maps (I think on Google maps) attempt to show the terrain/lie of the land in a kind of 3D projection, which might help in working out which way is "down".
Also this site:
http://www.old-maps.co.uk/index.html
has older OS maps, including very large scale (1:2500 I think) versions going back over 100 years for most places, which might reveal detail that isn't on the current ones.

And pensioners have done stranger things than that! All you need is some high-visibility clothing and everyone will think you're an official...

Online JohnWalker

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Re: Where does all this spring water go in Canterbury
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013, 00:20:19 »
Thanks Chris

Unfortunately although a couple of the actual spring heads are marked the course isn't.  I used to follow these springs with great interest as a kid but they seem to have disappeared.

Anyone know if authorities culverted these springs and diverted them to run through the groundwater drainage systems?  For instance - I spent a summer holiday tracing 4 of the springs which used to join together and flow into a pond next to a school.  There is no external stream/culvert after the pond but it never overflows. I can only think that the flow has been culverted but where does this groundwater end up - surely not at the sewage works.

Would a department of the council have plans for this?  Would love to see them.

The idea of a dye to trace flow is very tempting.  At the age of 8 when I was tracing the streams I read a potholing story about some lads who were convinced a particular spring up in the dales was the same one that emerged miles away in their village.  They located some bright yellow dye and after a long wait through the summer holidays - one day, the stream in their village ran yellow and so opened up a new potholing system.  I tried everywhere to get some of the dye but at 8 years of age nobody would take me seriously.  I would love to do it just for old times sake - and to settle my curiosity.  I've located some powerful enviro safe dyes but I can imagine the panic if a few days later the River Stour was running bright yellow - I would just have to keep schtum to save the embarrassment of reports of a pensioner putting dye in water courses - local nutter!!!.

Offline ChrisExiledFromStrood

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Re: Where does all this spring water go in Canterbury
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2013, 20:45:00 »
Presumably you've tried tracing them on OS maps?
The 1:25000 is available free on Bing maps (http://www.bing.com/maps/?mkt=en-gb) which shows springs and small watercourses in blue, and along with the contours, that should help work out where the water falls.
In some terrain, springs will spring up (so to speak), run for a few hundred yards and then sink into more porous ground, with no trace of a culvert necessarily.
On TV, I've seen a hydrologist(?) use a harmless dye to confirm a theory on where a watercourse runs.
Good luck.

Online JohnWalker

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Where does all this spring water go in Canterbury
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2013, 19:04:32 »
On the higher levels to the South of Canterbury there are numerous springs all heading for the city. They seem to run all year round.

Ones I know of are. -

3 above Spring Lane Estate.
1 rising within the estate.
1 at the side of Babs Hill. 
1 beside St Martins Church in the Glebe Field.
At least 1 on the Old Park

They all disappear on the outskirts of the city, namely Longport, St Martins, Military Road areas.  I presume they all end up in the Stour but I have never seen any culverts that empty into any section of the river.

Anyone know what happens to all the spring water - or where I could find out?

 

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