White painted underground clay pipes?

Alchad

Member
For the past 3 days I've been trying to trace a leak in the farm water supply. Digging down at a suspected source of the leak I found a section of 6" clay pipe which is painted white all around the pipe - or at least the 15 or so inches I've so far unearthed. None of the other drains I've come across since I've been here have been painted, they were just the basic fired brown.

Other slightly strange thing is that the pipe doesn't seem to be at a place where it would serve to drain anywhere in that it's orientation doesn't suggest it connects into a ditch or other water course.

Just curious as to whether this painting had any significance in the past??

Thanks

Alchad
 

Working from home

Member
Livestock Farmer
Working for a groundworks contractor we do a fair bit of drainage work. Every now and again we come accross white clay pipes with ribbed pattern on the outside.
 

Alchad

Member
Thanks for the comments.

Update - photo of the pipe below, the hole fills from the situation below to overflowing the hole in 10 minutes, and through a small hole in the white pipe water can be seen flowing at a fair rate and the pipe appears to be running virtually full, but as I said above I'm scratching around trying to figure where it discharges to, quite a puzzle!


white pipe.jpg


Related question - see the map below which shows our farm water system (the borehole is near the house, it pumps via timer control to a reservoir in the hills above the house and then feeds the house and farm via gravity from the reservoir). The dotted red line is the pipework supply to/from the reservoir and the "T"'s are water troughs.

We lost pressure on Xmas eve and with the borehole pump running for it's usual (in winter) couple of hours a day the reservoir drains completely overnight. I have checked around for leaks etc and found water coming out of the ground and dug down to find this white pipe which I THINK is unrelated to my loss of borehole water. However just curious as to the white pipe and it's purpose - as can be seen on the map, there is a dotted line running from two points identified as "fp" on the map - blue arrows. The slope of the land is from top to bottom of the map and from left to right. FP definitely doesn't stand for footpath - we have others on the farm which are on this map, but not shown, so can't be that, so does anybody have any idea what "fp" can stand for? The only bit of info which might be relevant is that in the field with the top blue arrow there is a pond which is always full of water and I wondered if the "fp" was some sort of water supply from this pond to the house back in times gone by??

AS I said, this originally came up whilst trying to find the source of the water leakage. I have checked and rechecked all possible potential sources - water troughs, farm buildings and walked the place many times but there is no obvious sign of a leak. My logic says that because the water is completely drained out overnight with nothing at all at the house of farm buildings the leak MUST be at a location around the house/farm buildings/borehole, or at a lower location. Otherwise with a leak higher up, there would at least be some flow at the house until the section of pipe between the leak and house was drained??

Any suggestions very grateful received

Alchad
borehole3.jpg
 

Cjm

Member
Location
Buckinghamshire
Thanks for the comments.

Update - photo of the pipe below, the hole fills from the situation below to overflowing the hole in 10 minutes, and through a small hole in the white pipe water can be seen flowing at a fair rate and the pipe appears to be running virtually full, but as I said above I'm scratching around trying to figure where it discharges to, quite a puzzle!


View attachment 1006273

Related question - see the map below which shows our farm water system (the borehole is near the house, it pumps via timer control to a reservoir in the hills above the house and then feeds the house and farm via gravity from the reservoir). The dotted red line is the pipework supply to/from the reservoir and the "T"'s are water troughs.

We lost pressure on Xmas eve and with the borehole pump running for it's usual (in winter) couple of hours a day the reservoir drains completely overnight. I have checked around for leaks etc and found water coming out of the ground and dug down to find this white pipe which I THINK is unrelated to my loss of borehole water. However just curious as to the white pipe and it's purpose - as can be seen on the map, there is a dotted line running from two points identified as "fp" on the map - blue arrows. The slope of the land is from top to bottom of the map and from left to right. FP definitely doesn't stand for footpath - we have others on the farm which are on this map, but not shown, so can't be that, so does anybody have any idea what "fp" can stand for? The only bit of info which might be relevant is that in the field with the top blue arrow there is a pond which is always full of water and I wondered if the "fp" was some sort of water supply from this pond to the house back in times gone by??

AS I said, this originally came up whilst trying to find the source of the water leakage. I have checked and rechecked all possible potential sources - water troughs, farm buildings and walked the place many times but there is no obvious sign of a leak. My logic says that because the water is completely drained out overnight with nothing at all at the house of farm buildings the leak MUST be at a location around the house/farm buildings/borehole, or at a lower location. Otherwise with a leak higher up, there would at least be some flow at the house until the section of pipe between the leak and house was drained??

Any suggestions very grateful received

Alchad
View attachment 1006272
I’d dig that hole deeper/bigger to see if you have another pipe either inside your clay pipe, or alongside it/beneath it. I can’t help thinking that fp is footpath given how it joins and leaves the track…
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
Assuming that is an old OS plan the FP certainly means foot path, and means trouble!
It may well be that the dotted line comes from an older map and could be a bank, but you have now got a footpath. I have been in that story.
 

Goweresque

Member
Location
North Wilts
It looks like your modern (?) pipe system runs close to this white pipe, is it possible that this is the remnants of the old farm water supply system, and your modern pipe has sprung a leak and is leaking direct into the old clay piping system? If can you block the water from leaving the reservoir, and if you can does the water in the white pipe slow down and/or stop? If you fire up the borehole pump does the water in the white pipe increase in speed/pressure? Does the borehole pump lift any water up to the reservoir now, or does it all disappear before it gets there?
 

David1968

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
SW Scotland
It looks like your modern (?) pipe system runs close to this white pipe, is it possible that this is the remnants of the old farm water supply system, and your modern pipe has sprung a leak and is leaking direct into the old clay piping system?
Yes, that would be my thought.
We once lost about £1500 worth of water when the mains pipe started leaking directly into a nearby drain. It wasn't until it got so bad it affected the pressure that we even knew it was leaking.
 
Last edited:

Alchad

Member
It looks like your modern (?) pipe system runs close to this white pipe, is it possible that this is the remnants of the old farm water supply system, and your modern pipe has sprung a leak and is leaking direct into the old clay piping system? If can you block the water from leaving the reservoir, and if you can does the water in the white pipe slow down and/or stop? If you fire up the borehole pump does the water in the white pipe increase in speed/pressure? Does the borehole pump lift any water up to the reservoir now, or does it all disappear before it gets there?
Yes, that thought had occurred to me. The reservoir outlet does have a valve although it is not 100% tight, but as an experiment I tried timing how long it took to fill the hole with the valve closed, pump running to fill the reservoir and pump not running . All times were approx 10 minutes which sorts of goes against the clay pipe being filled from the borehole pipework. Interestingly, that was 3 days ago, just tried the experiment again and the time to fill was nearer 15 minutes, which sort of suggests the pipe is to do with land drainage as a few days ago we'd had a lot of rain and the ground was fairly saturated. In the same field there is a ditch which has land drains flowing into it and the ditch empties into a small pond which overflows into a water course. A few days ago there was considerable overflow from the pond, today hardly anything.

Re your other question, yes the borehole does still get some water to the reservoir, when I checked a few days back the flow into the reservoir seemed the same as normal but I'll take a bucket up next time I go and do a rough measure and compare with the fill rate measured last year.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Alchad
 

Forkdriver

Member
Livestock Farmer
If you can get a cable tracer and sonde to push through the drain you can find where it goes, so that may help in deciding about the white pipe without more excavation.
 

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Five nature-recovery projects spanning 100,000ha launched

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Written by Michelle Martin from Agriland

Image-source-Savills-field-640x360.jpg
Five nature-recovery projects spanning nearly 100,000ha across the West Midlands, Cambridgeshire, the Peak District, Norfolk and Somerset have been announced by the government and Natural England today (Thursday, May 26).

This is the equivalent in size to all 219 current National Reserves.

The aim of the projects is to deliver nature recovery at a landscape scale, helping to tackle biodiversity loss, climate change and improve public health and well-being.

All five projects will make a significant contribution towards the national delivery of the international commitment to protect at least 30% of land and...
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