Out with ye olde and in with the new

From the left, Paul Wilson and Mick Bradley from Barhale WSP, and Bob Waterson and Richard Vollans from Yorkshire Water, with one of the Buchan Traps they have removed in Hipperholme.
From the left, Paul Wilson and Mick Bradley from Barhale WSP, and Bob Waterson and Richard Vollans from Yorkshire Water, with one of the Buchan Traps they have removed in Hipperholme.

Victorian sewerage contraptions have been unearthed ahead of flooding concerns from Yorkshire Water.

Twenty-six Buchan systems channelling household waste to the sewerage system will be removed from pipe systems across Halifax, Brighouse, Bradford, and Cleackheaton in a pro-active initiative to minimise sewer flooding.

Originally fitted in 1865 to prevent gases, smells and vermin entering Victorian cellared properties the Buchans struggle to cope with modern day wastes.

Weighing up to 100 kilos, the U-shaped piping will be removed and replaced with straight piping allowing for waste and water to run smoothly to the sewer.

Across Yorkshire, thousands of relics have already been removed by the water board. Chris Bradshaw, project manager for Yorkshire Water said: “On this occasion we identified a large number of Buchan traps in one area and, instead of doing the work piecemeal, we will aim to remove as many as possible in the shortest possible time.” The length of time for each Buchan will depend on their depth and will take from half a day up to three days to remove. The £250,000 Calderdale pilot scheme is expected to be completed by the end of March.

On-site technical project assistant Bob Waterson said: “There will be no disruption to service. We have had no complaints regarding access to properties.”

“The Buchans are a great example of Victorian engineering and ingenuity. It’s what the toilet was based on.”

Made from vitrified clay, the Buchan traps were installed on Victorian sewers because engineers believed that sewer gases should be stopped from getting into houses via newly-installed toilets.

Up to 100 residents will be affected by the project though they will have been notified in writing. Yorkshire Water said its contractors, Barnhale WSP will need access to the property but staff will carry identification.