London’s Drowning

The Albert Embankment is half flooded, and it’s got nothing to do with global warming, or even South London reverting to its original state of malarial swamp. No, the problem’s much simpler than that: it’s raining.

Tell me this. If you were designing the layout of a river bank walk in a country which gets a fair bit of rain, how would you do it? Would you tilt the pavement ever so gently down towards the water so that the rain could flow into the river which, handily, is right next to you? Or would you tilt the pavement the other way, draining the water away from the river and into a storm drain which in turn goes into the sewage system which in turn tends to fail to cope with heavy rain and so has to open the floodgates and pour the stuff straight into the river*, only now with added turds? Yeah, I thought so. Obviously drain engineering is extremely complicated and scientific stuff, which is why they come up with the solution which appears to the civilian mind to be completely bonkers. And made more so when the drains block (which is approximately all the time) and cause enormous ankle deep puddles across half the Embankment.

Any experts out there who can explain why it doesn’t just drain straight into the river? And when you’ve finished doing that, can you give me a hand wringing out my socks?

* fortunately this happens further downstream, in Essex, so as long as the tide is going out we don’t have to worry about it.

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6 responses to “London’s Drowning

  1. This may be the same reason why when draining rainwater from next to major docks, you build a roundabout which is at a lower level than the roads feeding into it and the dock itself so it floods. Their logic is above and beyond ours, clearly.

  2. It’s obviously far too complicated for our tiny brains to comprehend …

  3. Pah, you might not have anything to worry about all your sewage getting dumped down stream in Essex, but what about us in Essex?

    Offence seriuosly taken.

  4. Twas a joke, honestly… As one who’s swum in the ‘sea’ off Southend, I dislike the dumping of pollution anywhere in the Thames …

  5. So was I

    wonder if you could recycle all that sewage…

    mind you hasn’t the tap water in London already “past through” about 10 other Londoners first?

  6. Seven times, I think.True connoisseurs won’t drink any water that hasn’t passed through at least one Londoner…

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