Following on from a (much) earlier thread about the Tranmere / Borough Road overflow tunnels, I have typed out the following from a primary source. They are proceedings from a sub-committee from 1930. This first part is the Town Clerk's memo; I'll post the Borough Engineer's report shortly.
I have checked the content for typos etc but any remaining are down to me
Probable future commitments of the Corporation in connection with Sewerage and certain other matters.
Memorandum of the Town Clerk
The accompanying information has been compiled upon the instructions of the Council, and will be considered by a Special Committee on the 12th December 1930.
It is understood that particulars are required not only of the sewerage schemes which give rise to the matter, but also of any other important developments for which the Council should be prepared.
The following brief description of the sewerage system of the Borough should be borne in mind in considering the matter:
The Borough is sewered on the combined system and the carriage is by gravitation to the River Mersey. There are no pumping or screening arrangements such as are often necessary in other Towns. The following are the outlets into the River Mersey:-
(a) Outfall No. 1. The Great Culvert which is laid under Corporation Road and drains about 1,570 acres of the Borough and also receives (1) the discharge of the Fender Valley sewer, (2) the waters of the River Birkett, and (3) the water discharged from Graving Docks on the Dock Estate.
(b) Outfall No. 2. adjoining the Woodside Ferry and serving an area of about 30 acres near the Ferry Approach.
(c) Outfall No. 3. The Grange Vale Sewer which drains an area of about 714 acres.
(d) Outfall No. 4. The Green Lane Sewer which drains an area of about 562 acres.
(e) Outfall No. 5. The St. Paul’s Road Sewer which drains about 30 acres and acts at times for the relief of the Green Lane Sewer.
(f) Outfall No. 6. adjoining Rock Park and draining an area of about 149 acres.
(g) Outfall No. 7. The “Dell” Sewer which drains an area of about 73 acres.
It is inevitable that each year should show an increased demand upon the sewers. Not only building operations but the greater use of water for baths &c. contribute to the demand.
In November 1913, the Corporation in their Memorial to the Local Government Board for an extension of boundaries stated “Owing to building developments within the Borough and certain of the districts immediately adjoining further provision will shortly have to be made to deal with the storm water from certain districts.”
The Report of the Borough Engineer (sent herewith) sets out particulars of the scheme for dealing with the sewerage of the southern portions of the Borough.
The Mersey Docks & Harbour Board have gradually adopted the view that they should endeavour to prevent the discharge of crude sewage into the River Mersey. In 1921 they succeeded in requiring the Bromborough Urban District Council to separate and remove solids before discharge into a new outfall, and since then they have endeavoured to place the same condition upon other Local Authorities.
As a result of the Dock Board’s opposition to the Birkenhead Extension Bill 1927 the following section was inserted by Parliament in the Act :- “65(1) The Corporation shall not after the passing of this Act, unless authorised by Act of Parliament or Provisional Order confirmed by Parliament, construct any new sewage outfall into the River Mersey so as to discharge sewage (other than surface or storm water) into the said River, unless such sewage shall prior to such discharge have been screened so as to remove therefrom all solid matter”.
The Local Authorities in the Merseysides area have also agreed to an Inquiry into the Dock Board’s contentions as to the effect of crude sewage upon the River. The Dock Board have engaged seven well-known experts to investigate the matter and a print of their report has been placed at the disposal of each Local Authority. The recommendation of these experts is that the sewage should be purified before discharge. This report is now being examined by experts on behalf of the Local Authorities.
If by any means the Corporation are placed under the necessity of separating solids before discharging sewage into the River, a considerable outlay of money will be involved.
River Birkett Drainage. The Great Culvert (referred to above) was constructed under an act of 1844 by the Birkenhead Dock Commissioners under a statutory obligation “for the purpose of carrying off the drainage waters which now usually flow through the said Pool (i.e. Wallasey Pool) from above Warrington’s Bridge”. The water which flowed into the Pool at that time was discharged by the River Birkett and its tributaries the Arrowe and Fender.
Previous to the construction of the Great Culvert the Town sewers discharged into Wallasey Pool; but, on the construction of the Docks, the sewage from Birkenhead was discharged into the Great Culvert as soon as it was completed and this has continued ever since.
It would appear that the Corporation of Wallasey are desirous of dealing with the surface water drainage of the Moreton area by discharging it into the River Birkett. Counsel have expressed the opinion that under the interpretation of the Act of 1844 the Great Culvert should be used only for receiving the waters of the River Birkett.