Originally posted on 20 July 2010
The goit, which channels water to and from the wheel pit, has fallen into a state of disrepair over the decades. The Environment Agency and Sheffield City Council have made striking improvements both within the River Don and at the top of the Kelham Island goit. Sheffield Renewables volunteers are keen to contribute to improvements in the area and increase the power available from a new wheel by doing what they can to remove debris remaining within the goit.
After lots of planning and postponements, purposeful activity began on site at the wheel pit on Saturday 10th June. The water supply had been turned off a week before, leaving a small amount of water that was safe to walk in. Donning the protection equipment provided, some ventured into the wheel pit and began removing the large chunks of rubble that had been dumped there. They also found an number of pint glasses. These were so full of sludge that they weren’t returned to the pub. The other rubbish collected was less useful.
Other volunteers cut back the vegetation that had taken root within the walls. Whilst the buddleia flowers were delightful, their roots were unfortunately weakening the brickwork. The natural beauty of the flowers and creatures that have made their homes in the goit will not be lost. Some of it is actually encouraging the water to go the right way when leaving the wheel pit.
By half past three, we’d filled the bags donated by a waste removal company. Volunteers took a well eared rest, with a round of drinks, whilst they contemplated the next steps. More work will need to be done clearing out silt which has gathered where the water should flow. This job will be more complicated because it includes preventing the release of lots of soil into the water. If lots of soil settled out downstream it could bury little creatures living on the river bottom. After such a good start everyone was confident that the challenges will be overcome.
We were very grateful to
for promptly collecting the waste we generated free of charge.