|1st July 1898
New Scheme Propounded - Opinion Of The Experts
The experts instructed by the Rushden Urban Council (Mr. Eunson, C.E., and Mr. Cameron) have now issued their reports, which recommend the sinking of a new trial well in a field near Knuston Spinney, about 1,800 feet from the Rushden to Irchester-road, in the direction of Wymington. The reports were considered by the Urban Council in committee on Wednesday night.
Mr. Eunson says:-
“I have examined the neighbourhood of the town for a radius of from four to five miles and had the valuable assistance of Mr. A. C. G. Cameron, of the Government Geological Survey Department. From a superficial examination of the land lying to the south and south-west (with the knowledge that the porous beds of the oolites underlie the surface), it seemed that water should be met with in quantity, but upon a careful study of the geological beds it is found that overlying these oolites are stratas of drift and Oxford clay, which prevents the percolation of water from the rainfall, so that
The Only Feeding Ground
of water to these oolites lies at the outcrop bordering of the Nene.”
Having observed that the circumstances have been thoroughly discussed by Mr. Cameron and himself. Mr. Eunson states that he is quite in agreement as to the most likely situation to find water and also in the opinion that a single well cannot be expected to yield a large supply, but from the nature of the strata, additional wells at a short distance from each other would each yield its maximum, irrespective of the other, and also that headings, if found practicable, would improve the yield. Mr. Eunson proceeds:-
“Mr. Cameron also points out that water might be found on the north side of the Nene Valley in possibly a greater quantity by a
Careful Selection of Site
From the practical knowledge of Mr. Cameron, of the geological condition of the neighbourhood and my own observations in numerous sinkings and borings in the oolites, I am prepared to recommend that this advice be acted upon, more especially considering the failures which have been met with in the past searching for water. His advice is that a sinking be made on the high ground between Knuston Hall and Rushden. It is estimated that the distance to the clay will not be more than from 50 to 60 feet.
under any circumstances cannot be expected to be great from any one well, but should the strata yield the quantity which may reasonably be expected, then headings or supplementary wells to increase the quantity could be added as the demand requires. The most economical manner in which the trial could be made would be by sinking a moderate sized shaft to the clay and testing the yield, and should that prove satisfactory then a larger and permanent well should be put down within a short distance and connected by a heading, and in this larger well the pumping machinery fixed in sound and permanent manner.
An Alternative Site
is suggested by Mr. Cameron on the other side of the Nene Valley, but this would only be resorted to in case of failure on the south side, and therefore, need not be gone into detail.”
Mr. Cameron, in his report, says:-
“Although well acquainted with the district, having mapped it for the geological survey, it was of course necessary for me to re-visit it with the special object of considering the best source of water supply. This I did on May 20th, in company with your engineer, Mr. Eunson. I also had the advantage of meeting the chairman of the Waterworks Committee (Mr. John Claridge) and Mr. Madin (the surveyor), with whom I have had full time for consultation. The Council have searched for water in the district, but have not been successful.”
Having described the
of the district, Mr. Cameron says:-
“Fairly good water, the amounts varying at different seasons, is sometimes obtained from sand and gravel patches in association with the boulder clay. By collecting these springs near Wymington, about 36,000 gallons per day have been procured for use of Rushden.
“I should certainly doubt the purity of any supply got from the
in the Valley of the Nene.
“The evidence afforded by the Wymington boring conclusively proves that deep-seated water from the marlstone cannot be obtained in the immediate neighbourhood of Rushden. It is needless, therefore, to further consider the question of deep boring in the district.
“Nor would it seem wise to resume operations at the abandoned well on the Bedford-road. It is extremely doubtful if any useful quantity could be got by deepening the well, enlarging the bore-hole (reported as having entered the lias) or sinking another shaft alongside. In the direct line of the dip, too, the water might receive some underflow of sewage from Rushden.
Quality of the Oolite Water
“Unpolluted oolite water is ‘excellent.’ As usual there is some temporary hardness, but this is not excessive. A frequent trouble in regions where the oolites are at the surface is the contaminated nature of the water from cesspools and sewage in populous places having
its streams and springs. But away from the building and population, the quality of the water is not likely to be other than Nature made it.
“Having due regard to the physical and geological conditions of the particular localities and sources, each upon its own merits, I have no hesitation in saying that the limestone and subjacent porous beds would yield the best local supply of water for Rushden.
“Attention should be directed to the lands lying west and north of Rushden, as affording the more extensively exposed absorbing areas.
“Of course, the
Nearest Available Site
should be considered first, when quality, quantity and other conditions are equal. I would advise sinking to a depth of 50 to 60 feet on the high ground north of Knuston Lodge, and Hall adjoining, and on the east side of Wymington Spinney.
“It is possible there, by means of a shaft and adits, to get a fairly good supply. After pumping into a tank the water would be readily led to the road for convenience of piping and distributing throughout the town.
“And I would further advise that, if this did not prove sufficient, another shaft and adits (which not only increase the supply but serve for storage also) should be tried.
West of Irthlingborough
This latter place would be more distant, and therefore more expensive, but perhaps works could be made to supply the overplus to other places. It would be best to obtain the right over both these sites at once, as the amount of water which can be obtained from any one shaft can only be determined by actual experience, and the areas from which a good supply of water may be expected within a hundred feet of the surface are by no means very numerous in the vicinity of Rushden.”