Forget AGW: Somerset was flooded by E.A. Incompetence

Posted: February 14, 2014 by tallbloke in Accountability, government, Incompetence, Legal, Politics, weather
Tags: , ,

From SWK AKA The Ghost of Corporal Jones, we get some inside info on the cause of the flooding problems in Somerset:

floodI’ve tried to get the following info into the MSM, I managed to find ‘Bishophill’ last night and from there got to here, it might be of interest to those who want the truth of the situation

I wish to remain anonymous for good reason, I think you’ll understand why.

You have to go back to 1939, when the MOD decided that they needed a new Munitions factory for HDX explosives, HDX uses a lot of water, all munitions manufacture does, but HDX is greedy.

The levels had too much water and so we built one on the Levels, ROF37 or ROF Bridgewater or ROF Woolavington, it’s all the same place.

To ensure that there was enough water even on the waterlogged Levels, we built the Huntspill River, we then connected it to the River Brue to the North and the Kings Sedgemoor Drain via a pipe to the South, we also widened the River Sowy to get water to our factory.

We would use >5 thousand million litres every year, rain or shine.

We then disposed of it into the sea, we had to do this regardless of the tidal conditions and we had steam pumps that did this remarkable task, we would pump out at the Huntspill sluice 3 thousand million ltrs a year, the rest was either evaporated through steam production, too contaminated and shipped off-site or left the factory in the product!

Part of the legacy of the fall of Communism was that we didn’t need quite so much ordnance to practice killing the deadly foe.

In the mid 1990s the decision was made and we ran down the ROFs.

By 2000 ROF37 was given an execution date of 2008 and like all state executions, it was carried out on time.

We all knew that the ‘run-on’ from our departure would be that the EA/Levels Boards needed to take over pumping, they couldn’t afford our old system as it was very old and on restricted land.

I should explain at this point that the ONLY pumping done was ours, we could and did pump no matter the tides, we’d taken over the responsibility/control in 1940 for all high volume pumping on the Levels.

We advised that the Huntspill be automated and the Kings Sedgemoor Drain be pumped and made strong representation to that effect.

But every meeting with the EA ended in frustration as they never sent a single seriously knowledgeable Drainage Engineer to any meeting. The Levels Boards understood the issues and tried to get the pumps installed.

It didn’t happen.

One of the problems with draining the Levels is silting, we used to pump in such a way as to utilise ‘scour’ of all the rhynes and ditches and pipelines to keep them clear, when we shut down in the 50s due to a slight mishap and explosion on site in just 15 days of reduced use we found the lines lost about 1% of their ‘flow sympathy’ meaning we had to suck about 1% harder to get the same amount of water through the top metering point.

We all hoped that the 2007 flood would wake the EA up and get them to re-think their stance on the KSD pumps, they would not even agree to a meeting! We were pumping furiously on a limited facility in that year or that flood would have been horrific.

Today, looking at the flood charts and pictures it is obvious that the connection to the Huntspill is blocked, silted up.

So the water can’t be ‘smeared’ over all the levels as in the past, that is why ‘record’ levels are being recorded in certain areas whilst others are barley effected.

The poor chap who has built an Island out of his home has my sympathies, he the KSD pumps been in place for the last 6 years he’d not be in the predicament he is in, nor for that matter would most of the others on the levels, the water won’t be going anywhere soon.

This is the reality of the situation, if you wish to check for yourself, you can go to even the Wiki pages and read about it (until they get edited no doubt!) but all that I’ve written is a matter of public record and can be verified elsewhere.

I enclose a single link to the fact that we did our best to convince the EA that the matter was serious.

Quote from above… Floodwater is removed from many of the moors of the Somerset Levels by pumping stations, which were originally steam-powered. These were superseded by diesel engines, and more recently by electric pumps. The King’s Sedgemoor Drain is unusual in that it operates entirely by gravity. Consideration was given to replacing Dunball clyse with a pumping station in 2002, which would have allowed water to be discharged into the estuary at all states of the tide, but this course of action was not followed. Management of the Drain is the responsibility of the Environment Agency, whereas the numerous rhynes or drainage ditches which feed into the Drain are the responsibility of several Internal Drainage Boards, who work together as the Parrett Consortium of Drainage Boards.[19]

The reference point… ^ The Parrett Catchment Water Management Strategy Action Plan. Environment Agency. 2002. ISBN 1-85705-788-0. Retrieved 16 November 2010.

Forget AGW or ACC what we have here is AEAI, Anthropogenic Environmental Agency Incompetence

Thank you for taking the time to read.

  1. ishtarsgate says:

    Fascinating Rog! Especially this bit:

    “We advised that the Huntspill be automated and the Kings Sedgemoor Drain be pumped and made strong representation to that effect.

    “But every meeting with the EA ended in frustration as they never sent a single seriously knowledgeable Drainage Engineer to any meeting. The Levels Boards understood the issues and tried to get the pumps installed. “

  2. Joe Public says:


    But should the product be RDX, not HDX (?)

  3. Bob Greene says:

    The bureaucrats are never going to admit error or fault, they just do a little side step, some misdirection and you now have unprecedented AGW.

    Excellent post.

  4. p.g.sharrow says:

    Worthless swamp it was, that was drained for a purpose. Maintain the drainage or swamp it will return to. The Environmentalists want swamp. Small wonder that they reduced drainage effort by an agency that they control. Enviro NGOs control 10% of the earths’ surface, and they want to drive the people there, off of the land. They want to control much more land and they consider humans to be a cancer to be removed from it. Welcome to Agenda 21 and sustainability. pg

  5. Corporal Jones Ghost says:

    Thanks to Joe Public… you are entirely right!

    I’m afraid I’m guilty of slipping into ‘site slang’ we produced HMX and RDX… we shortened it to cover all process requirements… were drainage engineers, we talk in code!


    NOTE TO SELF! Do not use job slang!

    Mea culpa.

    On another point about the meetings, the last one we attended we left thinking that the ‘plan’ was for the Levels to return to tidal wasteland, it was never articulated as such but we felt we were not privy to a greater plan for the area, if you can understand what I mean, a sort of “Yeah, don’t worry, it won’t matter” sort of attitude.

  6. I’m sure this is all true.

    I lived very nearby for over 30 years and owned some drained land on the edge of the levels.

    I paid a tiny fee, of never more than a few quid an acre, to the local Drainage Board who still have responsibility for keeping all the smaller drainage channels (rhynes) clear.

    The Drainage Boards consist of elected local farmers & landowners who work on a tight budget, out of modest office facilities, to employ local operators and contractors, working all year round.

    Originally, I believe they had responsibility for keeping the main rivers clear as well – but this was taken from them and given to the National Rivers Authority and then the Environment Agency – who stopped dredging, I believe, in 1996.

    I didn’t know how much of the pumping was done by ROF Woolavington, but all the current problems make perfect sense if the pumps were switched off in 2008 and not replaced.

  7. Me_Again says:

    Possibly this chap was using the local acronym for Hexahydro-Trinitro-Triazine. The H coming from the first word.

  8. p.g.sharrow says:

    Rog&Tim; I reblogged this as it is important to me and my friends. They are dueling with Nature Conservancy that was Gifted 40 acres of swamp and are attempting to use it and the endangered species act to seize all the local water rights and the surface use of over a thousands of acres of adjoining ranch lands. The Nature Conservancy Has a goal to control 12% of the earths’ surface. And return it to wilderness with no people on it to disturb the natural order. Except for themselves of course! pg

  9. Joe Public says:

    @ CJG.

    Fascinating. Thanks to wikiP, I now learn………………

    “During World War II, under the code name “Aunt Jemima,” HMX was mixed with flour and used by Chinese guerrillas to disrupt the Japanese invasion and occupation of China. The mixture could easily pass for regular flour, thereby passing checkpoints without detection. It could even be cooked into pancakes without exploding and eaten without poisoning anyone. Uneaten pancakes or unused dough could still be used later for its original explosive purposes.”

  10. ishtarsgate says:

    Haha! Are you sure about that? It might explain some of the explosive evenings I’ve been having after eating pancakes!

  11. AlecM says:

    Very interesting……

  12. Sean says:

    A little comment about HMX and RDX. They are both nitramine explosives and very powerful ones at that. HMX is an 8 atom ring and RDX has a 6 atom ring. HMX is more dense which makes it a more capable of producing better shaped charge rounds in a small space. My recollection of the names for these two compounds was that HMX stood for His Majesty’s eXplosive while RDX stood for Research Department eXplosive.

  13. ishtarsgate says:

    Looks like standard disinfo interference to me, to take everyone’s eye off the ball for a nice spot of inter-party wrangling. In my opinion, it’s not about Labour and it’s not about the Tories. It’s not even about the Lib Dems. It’s doesn’t make any difference who you vote for… the government still gets in. And the mis-management of the drainage of the levels has been going on since around 2004. I reckon this is a distraction from the problem of the EU dominating our lives now, and every politician, of whatever hue, has been dancing to its tune over the past 10 years at least.

  14. colliemum says:

    It is staggering how back in 2007 – the year of the big summer floods, which most seem to have forgotten about – the ‘know-it-alls’ from the EA totally disregarded the advice and proposals from those who’d been working the pumps and the whole system for decades.
    Sadly, that’s par for the course for the watermelons, for whom history always only beings last Tuesday …

  15. tallbloke says:

    Ishtar: Agreed. The EU policy of ‘making space for water’ provides a convenient excuse to shave the costs of keeping the levels liveable. Then blaming it on AGW is the icing on the cake. Get Dame Julia of the marshes up on her hind legs to lay it on with a trowel and the disinfo campaign is complete.

  16. ishtarsgate says:

    Yes, I think she’s due for a bit of community service, that woman. Personally, I’d put her on muck-spreading duties. She obviously has a talent for it.

  17. tallbloke says:

    Bishop Hill reports:

    Inside the Environment Agency is reporting that he has received a letter from a potential whistleblower who claims to have evidence that Agency officials are conspiring with the Labour party to undermine the government.
    I have been following your blog for the last few months. You make some truthful claims but they are only the tip of the iceberg. I have been working for the Environment Agency as a team leader for six years. Your last post on political hypocrisy is what has prompted this email. I can give you the evidence you need showing senior managers in the South West conspiring with Labour MPs to discredit this government over the past two to three years, which I believe have made the floods far worse than they otherwise would have been. The MPs involved are: xxxxx (edited out for legal reasons – Labour MPs based in South West towns and cities)

    His Grace comments:
    There’s always the possibility that it’s not true, but it might be worth laying in supplies of popcorn, just in case.

  18. DirkH says:

    ishtarsgate says:
    February 14, 2014 at 6:29 pm
    “Looks like standard disinfo interference to me, to take everyone’s eye off the ball for a nice spot of inter-party wrangling. In my opinion, it’s not about Labour and it’s not about the Tories. It’s not even about the Lib Dems. It’s doesn’t make any difference who you vote for… the government still gets in.”

    Sorta. This org
    is behind at least the BioFuel agenda, big in the climate scare business, run out of the same building as the Fabian Socialists (probably a coincidence, ha ha), and has representatives in all Bloc Parties in the West (including Japan). (including in the recently perished German FDP, a “classic liberal” party (in name)).

  19. tchannon says:

    Mentions pumps

    Second mention of tidal flooding only. Plays down the rest. Pea and thimble.
    Puriton Energy Park
    Supplementary Planning Document

  20. oldbrew says:

    Anyone know where this is up to?

    ‘The report added that the Bridgwater Bay tidal lagoons would also be the best performing Bristol Channel lagoon on cost of energy.’

  21. oldbrew says:

    Severn Barrage looks too expensive and controversial, but if Swansea bay lagoon gets built that might pave the way for something else e.g. Bridgwater Bay. Some kind of plan will have to be produced for Somerset, whether it includes a lagoon or not.

  22. Tenuk says:

    None of this seems to make much sense to me. Why would Labour MP’s risk an illegal conspiracy with the EA on the off chance we’d have a mild wet winter with much flooding, which in turn would embarrass the Coalition government?

    It would be a risky strategy, as the reduction of dredging and spend on flood defence was started by the last Labour government. Also, all the advice from the Met Office was that UK winters would become very cold and dry, because of the melting Arctic ice. Labour may be useless and incompetent, but they’re not stupid.

  23. mikemUK says:

    This would seem to give a whole different level(no pun) of meaning to Baroness Young’s alleged ‘quip’ about fixing limpet mines to pumping stations.

    They meant it.

  24. ren says:

    The current position the polar vortex. 17 km.

  25. oldbrew says:

    Dr. Judith Curry questions the whole approach of climate science, including the Met Office, and comments:

    ‘I have another theory to explain the current deluge. It is Galileo, Newton and Einstein weeping uncontrollably from above.’

  26. michael hart says:

    Oldbrew, I think Judith Curry was quoting Melanie Phillips (linked in the article). Although she tries, she doesn’t always make it crystal clear to readers which words are her own.

  27. DirkH says:

    Tenuk says:
    February 14, 2014 at 11:05 pm
    “Labour may be useless and incompetent, but they’re not stupid.”

    Leftists of all nations have through the ages shown their complete incapabality or unwillingness to foresee or imagine unintended consequences of their actions.

    I hold that this property is what MAKES them leftists in the first place. If you understand consequences, and dynamic systems, you just never start believing in Utopia in earnest.

  28. Me_again says:

    Rightists are every bit as blinkered.
    Best having no ideology, just a large portion of cynicism tempered with a bucket of common sense.

  29. Don B says:

    Incompetence? Booker says the flooding is deliberate policy.

  30. Bitter&Twisted says:

    Heads must roll – starting with the absurd, arrogant, fat ignoramus, Smith.

  31. ishtarsgate says:

    Smith is just a puppet. We need to keep in mind the wider picture. The EA is only doing what the EU tells it to do, and the EU is acting in alignment with UN Agenda 21. Smith is being lined up to be the sacrificial goat anyway. He will be fired soon, I’m sure of it, and full expect the EA to be broken up and reformed as something else, with a different name, but being run by many of the same people, aka friends of Lord John Browne of Cuadrilla, aka Frackers ‘R Us. These people are very good at breaking up their own constructs and then treading them under and then transforming them into something else that looks different but is largely the same. They are no respecter of people, even their own. But Smith knew that when he took on the role.

  32. Me_Again says:

    I concur. This is a conspiracy too far. Way too many variables to be anything more than opportunist for anyone.

  33. Me_Again says:

    Does this say anything to those who can interpret the pretty colours?

  34. Me_Again says:

    I’ve been rummaging in my mailbox looking for that article which references the IPCC’s own page 774 or something. You know the one which says something like the earth is a dual coupled something or other system, and effects of any climate changes can’t be predicted.

    I had it a week ago and now it’s gone. Can’t even google successfully for it.

    Anyone know which one I mean?

  35. Me_Again says:

    Concur. I have Melanie Philips original article.

  36. DirkH says:

    Me_again says:
    February 15, 2014 at 12:13 pm
    “Rightists are every bit as blinkered.”

    Name me a “rightist” utopian movement if you want to refute what I said.

  37. Me_Again says:

    What I’m saying is that ideology is the cause of where we are now, whether it’s leftist or rightist it is in fact ‘stupidist’.

  38. tallbloke says:

    Here’s a neat aerial photo with annotations showing the watercourse layout on the Somerset levels.

  39. Me_Again says:

    Rog didn’t you see that IPCC page 774 thing?
    If not it musy have been on Roger Helmer’s blog.

  40. michael hart says:

    Me_Again, do you mean this one:
    “In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”?

    From here (and many other places)

  41. Rightwinggit says:

    Bearing in mind Gaylord Smiths propensity for pushing [snip] uphill, you’d think the rivers would’ve been dredged, wouldn’t you? 🙂

    [mod: not too ripe please -Tim]

  42. Burt Ward says:


    The capacity of Gold Corner pumping station is massive. Much more than the 1100 gallons a minute in that link. It’s more like 200,000 gallons a minute. They may have mistaken their units and put gallons instead of tonnes. See this twitter picture from an EA person:

    Gold Corner PS built for a new munitions factory in 1939,pumping recently shifted almost 309 million gallons per 24h

  43. Me_Again says:

    YES! superstar!

    thanks mate.

  44. tchannon says:

    Burt, I wondered about the accuracy of the figure, seemed a bit small. The pumping horsepower or whatever might be more useful but there again handing essentially rainfall will be highly variable.

    Low working head pumps, such as ducted impeller, couple of those can do 200k g/m, not worked it backwards, maybe 1MW each.

    Now can I see a reason why government would not want to do this? Money, pay for juice?

  45. Dr Richard North has shone some light on this story & it’s looking somewhat short of facts…

  46. R. de Haan says:

    According to research by Dr. Richard North, Eureferendum this story is a RED HERING:

    Lack of dredging has caused he flooding.

  47. If only it was that simple says:

    It’s usually the case that a problem will have a number of significant contributory factors. North thinks he has it sussed, just as EA expected “drought to be the new norm”.

  48. tchannon says:

    Get reading. What is true or false.

    Click to access Gold%20Corner%20Pumping%20Station%20Eel%20Passage.pdf

    Here are more details on the pumping station. Google Street view agrees with this, small power transformer for a single electric pump is right by the road, small overhead feed (11kV maybe) and a fuel oil storage tank, not particularly large. Ducted axial flow pumps, normal for very low head high flow. Off the shelf a couple of electric pumps can do this.
    The Huntspill river is actually dual purpose, gravity drain in winter and storage reservoir in summer, hence sluces to retain water. This might be misleading in photographs on what is going on.

    Click to access 13%2520-%2520Don,%2520Andy.pdf

    Various photos including of the inside.

    51.183123° -2.906701°

    Piffling fiddle wihilst Rome burns, trivia of power saving if at all overall.

    Date 1942, now I know where to look is confirmed in Google Street view.

    c 1960

    Usage Dec 2013. Where does this data orginate?

    More needs digging out from the following.
    South Drain Water Level Management Plan
    Lower Brue Drainage Board and Upper Brue Drainage Board
    Approved April 2010

    Click to access South-Drain-WLMP-Brue-Approved-Apr-10.pdf

    Vast amount of information, history, references
    Political, technical and social issues for water management on the Somerset Levels and Moors (3.1MB DOC)

  49. tallbloke says:

    Ron and Jabba: We already know about the cessation of dredging, and about Dr Norths excellent research on the EU dimension. This article is an additional dimension, provided by someone who purports to be a drainage expert. I hope he will return to comment on Dr North’s new article, which also adds to the sum of knowledge. He likely knows more about when the pumping stations Dr North highlights were shut down and what effect their closure had than Dr North does.

  50. ishtarsgate says:

    Guys, there is a consultation for the 20-year plan which Owen Patterson asked them to put together here: It’s being rushed through, and contributions have to be in by this Friday, 21st February. I have replied but not having your technical expertise, I’ve concentrated on the community and housing questions. However, this would be a great opportunity for you all to feed into the drainage and infrastructure bits.

  51. tallbloke says:

    Ishtar: Good spot! I recommend you visit Dr North’s blog and post your comment there too. Richard North is great at sounding authoritative, and is on flood relevant aspects of EU policy etc.

  52. ishtarsgate says:

    Will do, Rog. Thanks!

  53. Corporal Jones Ghost says:

    Hi. Thank you for taking the time and effort to read my letters.

    I read yesterday Dr.RN’s letter on his site after it was linked to on WUWT and in an effort to start to clarify the matter I posted the following:-

    “I’m sorry to say that the article writer seems to have not understood how the Moors Drainage works.

    I am going to try to precis the nature of the problem and then how the Pumping and Borrow pits work. I would normally need a few hours, a hundred or illustrations and lots of references, I’m going to have to cut that short.
    The following concerns underground water, not the rivers, rhynes, stream or drains.
    1/. The Moors are effected by tidal flow, not just in the Rivers, but right under the roads, grass, hedges and houses, the ‘Water Table’ as such is tidal. But it is damped so it doesn’t rise and fall the full extent of the Severn estuary but instead fluctuates about a seasonal norm.
    2/. The greatest lag in the fall is furthest point from the outlet, a secondary reason for occasionally pumping at low tide is to assist in this drop in the underlying level, this helps the ground ‘mop up’ any water that does over-break a Levee as well as making it less likely as there is a tidal lift each side of any major body of water. (Refer: Anticline)
    3/. So you have an incline in the table as the tide goes out and the general rise with the tide assisted by any river with a variable anticlinal seep, you have to think in 3D here.
    4/. The KSD, Brue and the Huntspill are not variably anticlinal, because they are not tidal, the Parrett is.
    5/. The KSD, Brue and the Huntspill are NOT rivers, they are effectively canals, they have no natural seep, they do not take water from the Moors through their ‘bottom’ or sides, they are entirely ‘water tight’ in that respect.
    6/. If you were to empty the KSD, B,and H and block their feeds they would not fill all by themselves as any normal river would in a such a high water table area, they’d be bone dry. (but, having said that there is some doubt as to whether the barrier work to the Brue failed when the M5 crossed it, but that would be ‘minor’)

    So how can pumping help this?
    1/. Pumping has to be regular and contiguous in nature and occasionally continuous for long periods when needed or considered to be needed to head off or mitigate a failure.
    2/. Doing this will reduce the height of the underlying tidal incline of the Water Table if your main point of depletion is at that end of it. (Langport in this instance)
    3/. The pumps meant that across the Moors rather than a Tidal incline from West to East there was an anticline instead and the objective of pumping was to have the peak of the anticline further West than Burrow Mump and more marked on the Northern side than the South.
    4/. The Huntspill stops being a ‘canal’ like structure at it upstream end, so that it will take water from the higher water table level at the East end of the Moors, roughly where it becomes the South Drain at it’s junction with Black Ditch, this can be verified by the fact that there will be a set of Borrow Pits there too.
    5/. Black ditch joined The Brue and the Huntspill and if you look at the Google map for the area the picture (I guess taken in the Summer) you can clearly see that at that junction that to the East the river ‘dries’ and becomes ‘weedy’, that is because the water is seeping away into the Moor!

    I will take this up again tomorrow (if anyone is even vaguely interested) .

    Again, thanks for reading.

    I will also add what I wrote on the WUWT site in regard to dredging.:-

    Dredging is essential, it always has been,and with the mess that is the Drainage situation at this moment, pressing beyond imagination, Spring will bring lots of water (if it is a normal one).

    Forgive the capitals:-


    I have to make that totally clear.

    Again, thanks for reading this letter, I apologise again for the capitals, I’m not shouting at you.

  54. tallbloke says:

    CJG: Many thanks for your timely response. Sorry climate blogland is even more chaotic than Somerset bogland.

  55. Corporal Jones Ghost says:

    Hi, again!

    I must point out something that may be lost in the endeavour for a greater understanding of the root cause of the problem we are faced with on the Levels.

    Look at what requires no special knowledge and can be verified without requiring more than a click of a mouse button.

    The lost truth is summarised thus:-

    1/. The EA was told and accept they were told to convert the the KSD from Tidal outlet only to a Pumped, Tide Independent system in 2003.

    2/. The chosen site was at the Dunball Sluice in the KSD.

    3/. 11 years later the Dutch have been/are Pumping in that exact spot.

    The reason this was done is simple, the principle, the method and means I and my colleagues proffered almost 15 years ago was a good one.

    But there is a second more ‘self-serving’ reason for the pumping going ahead and not the dredging.

    It is this, the dredging has been neglected and there has been a very vocal campaign that is nationally well known, so to dredge now is to lose face and possibly a few people would be sacked.

    But pumping has had no campaign to highlight it, it has had me, just me, writing to the MSM and being banned from the Guardian CIF site for putting this sort of information into the public domain.

    So pumping can proceed, no jobs are at risk as the endemic incompetence isn’t visible and when the media disappear the dredging can restart discretely during the Summer.

  56. ishtarsgate says:

    On the subject of the Dutch pumps, they had to be turned off again about two days ago, because of severe bank erosion. Here’s an update from them as of yesterday late afternoon:

    Dunball update 16:36
    16 feb
    All pumps pipes extended further out into river.
    Pipes not being moved over and are being kept in same location.
    Site awaiting concrete delivery, containers and cut to shape ready for delivery.
    Pumps 1-2 could be running at high tide only, the top working area around crane has been scraped and is a lot safer to work on.
    Pump 8 still being connected up.

  57. Corporal Jones Ghost says:

    Tallbloke, I have to thank you for giving me (and others) the facility to discuss this so openly and without being edited or deleted out of existence.

    Heartfelt thanks.

    CJG (new moniker 🙂 )

  58. Me_Again says:

    CJG, there are some obnoxious twazzocks on the EU referendum site giving you a kicking mate

    I’ve read parts of it and there’s a particular know-it-all twazzock called RAE North -presumably THE Richard North, as opposed to Richard Head -which is what he’s behaving like.

    Tallbloke you need to weep into your tea, they’ve even given you a half hearted kicking.

    …and if you are a UKIP member stay away, you’ll just start frothing at the mouth

    I’ve given him a bit of personal advice in a kind sort of way but hey, some people………..

  59. Corporal Jones Ghost says:

    I’m not there and haven’t read the declamations, so they are kicking thin air.

    I have seen ‘keyboard duels’ in the past and they are, I think, pointless.

    I am happy to debate and explain but not set about point scoring, I was there in Somerset, what I did is a matter of (some) public record still.

    I am not sure that arguing with someone who is very unlikely to be a Drainage Engineer and is also very unlikely to have spent 16 years of his life working day to day with the Moors Drainage system is going to be constructive if the site is already headed toward declamation rather than enquiry for it’s own sake.

    Life is too short for such things.

  60. Me_Again says:

    Pity, you could have slapped him with some facts rather than his gas balloon self important twaddle.

  61. tchannon says:

    Yes there will be underground flows is always present where there are porous ground condition, not solid rock.

    At the coast a balance exists between fresh water and salt water,same all over the world. I could show plots of ocean tidal movement as measured some distance inland. In this case there an abnormally large tidal range at the Severn estuary. Material on drainage? I doubt it.

    Some humour

    Somerset is located next to Devon.

    There is a lack of fresh water in the west country, lack of reservoirs. Next door we pump fresh water into the sea.

  62. tallbloke says:

    M_A: It’s well known that Dr North has a bee in his bonnet about UKIP in general and Farage in particular. I’ve ended up as the butt of his sneering invective on his buddy ‘Autonomous Mind’s blog a couple of times, and had the temerity to answer back. Hence the slagging.

  63. tallbloke says:

    CJG: Forgive abbreviation, I do a lot of my blogging on the move from a smartphone. Frank yet reasonable and polite discussion is possible here because keyboard warriors don’t their stuff past moderation.

  64. tallbloke says:

    By the way CJG, what proportion of annual rainfall was ROF37 shifting?

  65. Me_Again says:

    I’ve sh*t better bloggers than him…….you keep on mate you do a good job.

  66. Corporal Jones Ghost says:

    TB, On your last, I have no idea! I might have known at some point perhaps, but I can not recall a figure at all.

    I was ‘abbreviated’ at work so have no issue with it at all.

    Debate is great, I have learned something new since coming here and that is a wonderful thing.

    My stance is very simple, if a site owner/invigilator and I don’t see eye to eye then we go to a neutral site to debate, otherwise I can be edited out of existence or into a caricature of my own self.

    if you Tb and I had counterposing ideas then that would be taken elsewhere, to BishopHill or WUWT and the same in a ’round-robin’ approach would apply to them.

    Dr. North can come here and I think you’d welcome him and treat him fairly, in fact I’d insist you did!

    I’m not and never too proud to learn.

  67. tallbloke says:

    Dr North is welcome to comment here but all snark would be removed.

  68. oldbrew says:

    TB: re Guardian article…’instant expert – just add water.’

  69. Corporal Jones Ghost says:

    The ‘Metrosexual’ Monbiot on the Levels meeting and greeting the locals dispossessed of their homes/livelihoods, Oh happy days!

    That’s like inviting a Zombie to a Wedding… he’s unlikely to make it any more fun is he!

    Talk about the BBC picking it’s moments!

  70. Corporal Jones Ghost says:

    I have recently responded on the WUWT site in regard to the question that forms the first sentence below:-

    “Is the assertion that failure to pump into the Huntspill as previously maintained by ROF Bidgewater caused this flooding still alive?”

    It most certainly is!

    Just dredging alone will cause greater problems in the long run and will be regrettable in the extreme.

    Dredging should be minimal, it used to be when we were in charge of the pumps, the scour we produced was not the action of a blade and the amount of Dredging was minimal and therefore the damage minimised.

    If the pumping doesn’t resume and dredging alone occurs to clear/clean the entire Moor then in 20 years we can kiss good bye to the natural look of the place,

    The concrete topped line of sheet piles will creep further and further up the Parrett, the run-offs will be concrete channels, the ‘idiot advocates’ of Dredging alone will have that as a result of their pleading for a single answer, they are morons. There is no other term for it… morons.

    Because the pumps were off and the Huntspill became a ‘Fishing Amenity’ rather than essential part of the draining of the Moors there is a pressing need for dredging and that cannot be avoided, but the if they remain off each dredge will be as aggressive as the last and damaging as a result.

    Dredging has to be a ‘light touch’ operation in combination with controlled and planned pumping with its concomitant scour.

    Even with all the ‘knowledge’ available at their finger-tips the internet is still infested with the vociferous moron who wouldn’t understand the term synergy if their life depended on it.

    On it’s own Pumping is not the answer, on it’s own Dredging is not the answer, put them together with a sprinkling of intelligence and skill and they will do all the work required with no damage.

    Shame on all those who can’t/won’t see this.

  71. ishtarsgate says:

    “Won’t” I think is the operative word here, sir. This is not incompetence, in my opinion. It’s sabotage. Too many people stand to gain monetarily for having these parts of the Levels under water. And in any case, I don’t think anybody could be that incompetent or that incapable of the simplest maintenance that’s been carried out successfully for centuries. I’m not a great believer in the ‘cuts’, because they have their own money printing machine and seem to have no trouble finding lots of it for wars and other fun things they like to do. Sir, I want to ask you, if you don’t mind, as a military man, do you know anything about a HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) facility at Aberystwyth in Wales? There’s some evidence that it could be causing the floods, as suggested would be possible in Chapter 15: Weather As A Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in a US government paper called Air Force 2025. Be grateful to hear if you know anything. People round these parts are getting mighty suspicious about it, and I think I can pitchforks being sharpened as we speak. Thanks, Ishtar .

  72. colliemum says:

    @ Corporal Jones Ghost says: February 18, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Thank you for your contributions, which make more sense than those of a bunch of experts I’ve seen in the last days!

  73. Me_Again says:

    “On it’s own Pumping is not the answer, on it’s own Dredging is not the answer, put them together with a sprinkling of intelligence and skill…”

    Now you be careful there corporal, that’s joined up thinking………[there may be a pun in there somewhere].

  74. tchannon says:

    Bringing in conspiracy such as HAARP is unwelcome.
    The Welsh site mentioned is this

  75. Corporal Jones Ghost says:

    Ishtargate. I’ve been invited back to go to the levels on Thursday so I’ll try to find out if it is ‘can’t or won’t first hand.

    ‘Penny-wise, pound foolish’ is the phrase I suspect describes the events for the last few years.

    That and a fair sprinkling of general ignorance and you have a perfect storm, if you’ll excuse the pun.

    Ishtar, throughout my entire life I have heard so many ‘conspiracy theories’ the forces are riven and even motivated occasionally by them, they have all to date been fantasies.

    When ‘the dirty ruskies’ had that transmitter we called the Woodpecker every nut-job had a theory.

    I was OTH RADAR, nothing more, but for years and even now more than 20 years after it’s shut down it was far far more sinister.

    HAARP is probably what they say it is, seeding clouds with Dry Ice or Silver Iodide is a far far cheaper means to create rain, but people love conspiracies, it keeps them happy and it is a harmless way to help people cope with their anxiety. I’m sorry if sound boring, but I’m an Engineer and we are a bit too ‘matter of fact’ at times.

    Joined up thinking, well no-one could accuse the EA of that at least! lol

  76. tchannon says:

    As I read it the focus of the article and this thread is a major change of management of the Levels and to a regime which has brought degradation of efficacy.

    Plenty of evidence has been provided showing there is indeed a large WW2 pumping facility and surface drain.

    There is talk elsewhere that this facility is not involved in the current crisis, such as it could not fix the problem.

    We need more information.
    is there public information on pump usage, levels and so on since say 1980?

  77. ishtarsgate says:

    OK, I should have expected that. But HAARP is not a conspiracy theory as it’s well documented in government documents, as is the intent of weaponising the weather, which is why I showed you the link. In 2001, previously classified files were released which showed the RAF were responsible for flooding Lynmouth in 1952 in which more than 30 people died. They called it Operation Witchdoctor. Link to Guardian article about it here: If they were having such success with seeding clouds with silver iodide then, more than 50 years ago, what leaps and bounds can we expect the technology to have made by now? I don’t want to take this off topic, so I’ll shut up now… but there is plenty of evidence for these kinds of conspiracies, taking them well out of the realm of ‘theories’. Added to which, most of the so-called ‘conspiracy theories’ over the years have turned out to be true. We just need to open our minds a little….

  78. tchannon says:

    ” I don’t want to take this off topic, so I’ll shut up now”
    Thank you.
    If we have a suitable thread. That one would need admin discussion.

  79. tallbloke says:

    Richard North deals with the Moonbat

    “The great flood expert George Monbiot is very much in demand these days, with his latest effort in The Guardian recounting, “How we ended up paying farmers to flood our homes”, asserting that the government has “let the farming lobby rip up the rulebook on soil protection”. And now, says Monbiot, “we are suffering the consequences”.”

  80. oldbrew says:

    One for the ‘great’ Guardian expert:

    ‘Somerset Levels flooded farmers in ‘utter despair’ ‘

  81. ishtarsgate says:

    I’m sure the frackers will be delighted with Heather Venn’s comments:

    “It has been underwater for so long what on earth is it gong to be like when the water goes?” she says.

    “Is it going to be croppable or not? It is not just about farming now, it’s about more than farming. The destruction of farmland.”

  82. tchannon says:

    This links to Telegraph / North, what they have uncovered.

  83. ishtarsgate says:

    I read that last night and although I’m really pleased about what Richard’s uncovering, I’m not to pleased with it being presented as ‘all Labour’s fault’. The way I see it, Labour was just implementing whatever measures they had to, to meet European directives which seem to want more land under water, and which want people to believe in man made climate change. The Tories didn’t exactly overturn any of those policies when they came in…. because they couldn’t. It’s all very well for Owen Paterson to call for manning the pumps, after the event, but that’s a retroactive sticking plaster approach anyway. With his lobbying for GMOs in the EU, Paterson hasn’t exactly distinguished himself so far for being a friend of the environment or the people. I think both parties, left or right, are just puppets of Brussels. I’d like to think UKIP wouldn’t be, if it got into power, but I have my doubts.

  84. tallbloke says:

    Ishtar: Watch the video of Farage calling Rompuy a low grade bank clerk with the charisma of a damp rag if you’re in doubt. 😉

    Also, there’s a petition backing Farage’s call for a public inquiry on the flooding.

  85. ishtarsgate says:

    Blimey! He doesn’t mince his words does he? My faith is restored, Rog. Now, where do I vote?

  86. tallbloke says:

    Attagirl. 22nd may at your local polling station. 🙂

    Richard North has a bee in his bonnet about UKIP because he thinks he should be its leader rather than Farage.

  87. Neil Hampshire says:

    Corporal Jones,
    What did you find out on your visit last Thursday?
    I recognise it might be difficult to report back otherwise you may not receive another invite.

  88. tallbloke says:

    Dr North has another post up detailing the smokescreen being thrown up by the ‘experts’

  89. Corporal Jones Ghost says:

    Came back on Monday, posted this up on the WUWT and repeated here with slight modification.

    “I spoke to some farmers and was able to check if the ‘cross flow’ runs were clear to the shingle, not one was. Not a single one, walked the entire area we used to inspect with a rope shovel every run has at least a foot of clay like silt on it’s bottom.

    100 years of good management lost in just 5/6 years of incompetence.

    Not an ounce of shame is on the faces of the EA chaps and chapesses, in fact they see this as more reason to not bother to maintain the moors.

    My opinion is that the Levels as we have known them is condemned to a historical footnote, there is no enthusiasm for them as they were and the talk is still of the idea of a wading bird sanctuary, to be discussing the flooding and to be told to ‘look over there’ at a 6inch deep lake/puddle with a few hundred birds on it’s edge and ‘realise’ what a ‘fabulous and magnificent sight’ that is, is galling, infuriating actually.

    If I was a home owner on that Moor I’d have drowned that person there and then, I’d be under arrest.

    Kiss the Moors goodbye, we are being dictated to by idiots.

    Cheered myself up yesterday with lunch in Somerton but the gloom descended once we left the pub.”

    I am really quite dismayed at the situation and the way that the dredging is planned to be carried out, which seems to me to be almost designed to create a bigger problem.

    The rest of the World sees a ‘conspiracy’ involving the EU and the rest, where as on the ground it is obviously nothing more than an RSPB idea gone ‘viral’ within the body that administers the Moors, they are sick, sick in their tiny minds.

  90. tallbloke says:

    CJG: Thanks for the report. People’s right to the peaceful enjoyment of their property is being trampled on. I hope they kick off about it.

  91. oldbrew says:

    TB says: * the smokescreen being thrown up by the ‘experts’ *

    …where ‘x’ is an unknown quantity and ‘spurt’ is a drip under pressure 😉

  92. Me_Again says:

    Real pity CJG. Co-existance is quite possible with the overflow areas, no need to go OTT and flood the whole place. I hope they don’t have the same idea for the 5000 or so square miles of the Lincolnshire fens……………we’d really go hungry without that land.

  93. Me_Again says:

    OLdbrew -love that I do.
    I’ve copied it and hope to use it sometime in the very near future now that I am a persecuted, minority ethnic group.

  94. colliemum says:

    @ CJG – thank you for that report. It makes me more angry than I can say, seeing the work of so many destroyed in a few years of negligence – negligence driven by a pernicious ideology.
    I’m sure I’ll not be the only one who’ll be referring to that report: eyes and boots on the ground are more persuasive than charts in a ministerial office.
    Thanks again!

  95. Neil Hampshire says:

    Those Dutch pumps have been operating for well over a week now.
    Can anyone advise if the flood levels are starting to fall?
    Is there a site somewhere which keeps you updated on if and when things are improving?

  96. tallbloke says:

    Hi Neil, I saw a tweeted photo of a farm on the levels which is still inundated this morning.

  97. neil hampshire says:

    Corporal Jones,
    What are your views on the new government plan?
    Are you keeping us updated somewhere on the net?

  98. tchannon says:

    I had not seen the “Dutch pumps” when you commented on the 28th Neil. On dipping into the subject I was dismayed on finding toy pumps, lots of tiddlers and no mention of installing serious low head high flow. I’d expect at least 2 metre pipes and installed as siphons to minimise head.

    Instant install no but there has been long enough.

    Government is complaining about energy usage whilst using many low energy efficiency pumps, wrong type.

    Serious pumps tend to electric powered. This too is poor on energy efficiency (generation losses) but optimised pumps are better. Putting in quite a few MW of feed can be avoided by say a few gas turbine generators (the military could help out). Are they serious or not?

    No. EA do window dressing, looks above function.

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