Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Raw sewage running into Ramsgate Harbour and the basements along Harbour Parade.

For as long as I can remember the corner of the inner basin where the King George IV Maritime Heritage Pontoons are situated has often smelt strongly of drains and various people I know with some understanding of the history of Ramsgate’s civil engineering have told me that all is not well with the sewers in that part of Ramsgate.

Last week the workmen excavating the area around the sluice in this part of the harbour discovered a void has formed behind this sluice – something that leaks very badly in both directions – running into this is a sewer.

This means that as the rise and fall of the tide in the inner basin fills and empties this void the sewage is flushed into the harbour, as the basements in Harbour Parade flood regularly, it would also seem reasonable to assume that the floodwater there contains a proportion of sewage to a greater or lesser degree.

I should point out here that the people doing this work are competent as is the contractor for the Pleasurama development and it is my understanding that the dangerous problems here have been reported to the proper authorities.

Incidentally the sewers here and any sewage should be and theoretically have been since Victorian times, at a much greater depth, certainly deeper than the cellars in harbour parade.

The only thing that would be at this depth is surface drainage from the road and possibly peoples roofs, so this a serious problem that either relates to the early to mid 1900s sewage system still being connected, which it shouldn’t be, or that the surface drainage has been illegally tapped into.

This whole area is too dangerous for the work on the outflow to the inner basin to continue and I understand that this has now been rerouted to a different existing opening on the eastern side of the inner basin.

There is of course the more fundamental problem here, that is that the whole infrastructure in Harbour Parade would seem unlikely to be able to cope with the new Royal Sands Development, a problem that is likely to be an expensive and disruptive one.

Some of the pictures to substantiate this are really rather unpleasant, so I haven’t published them, those I have published are at http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/610/id31.htm I am not sure if this is where the scum on the water comes from but it would seem probable.


  1. Michael, who is the right people to be acting on this? The environment agency? Are TDC aware? If so, who can our concerns be voiced to?

    When walking down through the marina car park and along past the harbour Sunday there was a god awful smell of sewage all the way along. Could there potentially be an issue stretching that far?

  2. Keep up the good work in highlighting Ramsgate's many issues Michael! I don't comment that often but I read every post with great interest (I wish we had someone looking out for Margate / Westgate / Birchington like you do, especially now Bertie on 'Thanet Life' seems to have disappeared!).

  3. 16.47 The EA, KCC, TDC, Southern Water and the Food Standards Agency, I would think, I believe that the EA, KCC and TDC have been contacted, I don’t have contacts in the other organisations but imagine that they have or will be.

    I believe the faulty drainage problem starts under the exposed arches at Granville Marina, by the hairpin bend where Nero’s used to be.

    This is a mixed system, raw sewage and surface water that is piped from the cliff top there, there is a manhole there and a storm relief outfall pipe running into the sea, that has a faulty relief valve on the end, during severe rainfall the manhole cover is blown off by the force of water and the whole area floods with raw sewage.

    This system leads all the way along marina Esplanade and Harbour Parade and seems to be inadequate for its current needs.

    At one time I worked both in the old Pleasurama building, The Refectory now JGs and Stardust part of the pavilion, all had drainage problems.

    Peter last time I spoke to Bertie he said that he would be well enough to resume blogging about August time, so hopefully you will have again soon.

    I would say with many of my posts there really isn’t a lot that people can say, I suppose with the scientific and engineering stuff if I made some sort of error, then there would be a lot of comment.

  4. The same old story of shit mis-management at the harbour......

  5. Well done in Michael I like Peter wish we had someone over on this side of the Island who could look out for us, you do a great job.

  6. Ramsgate Fan, to be fair I don’t think this was anything much to do with harbour management, I take it as some horrible mess that happened at sometime between 1860 and 1960.

    I am glad to see that you have now a blogger id and potential for a blog, I have added it to the latest posts on other blogs thing on my sidebar, so if you ever do a post the link will come to the top of the list.

    Down et al, I have been down there today and done an update post, above this one, you may have noticed that all over the country they replace main gas pipes and water supply pipes because as they get old they start to leak and wonder why you never seem to see them replacing a main sewer pipe.


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