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15° Julii, 1927.]
Mr. WILLIAM JAMES EAMES BINNIE.
-because I notice here at Welmore Lake Sluice it is an automatic discharge-if you substituted some other thing for that
hand-controlled sluice-then you would either keep in more water if you were going to do better regulation or you would keep it in for a longer time? -Yes; you would not open it one or two tides.
1076. What the learned Counsel is asking you is, would you put in more water or would you keep it for a longer time? -Assuming that nothing has been done to improve any discharge from the Wash Lands?
1077. Yes? Yes, under those circumstances if nothing had been done to improve the discharge from the Wash Lands, of course the water would accumulate.
1078. From Denver to the sea?-Then I could not agree that the water would be impounded to a greater height. We are going to improve the outlet from the Wash Lands, so it will discharge as quickly as it comes in under certain conditions. It will not go on accumulating on the Wash Lands as it does now because of the inadequate arrangements for discharging it from the Wash Lands.
1079. Would that alter the peak level? -We were proposing to use the Wash (After a short
Mr. St. John Raikes.
1083. We had reached the point, Mr. Binnie, or rather Sir Murdoch and you had reached the point, that under present conditions the proposition I put to you was sound, that there would be no particular result unless you either held up more water or held it up for a longer time. That was the point of agreement at which I thought you had arrived. Is that so? I do not know that we have arrived at that. Under existing conditions-would you mind putting the question again; I did not quite follow.
1084. That under present conditions, that is to say without the improvements you propose in the lower river, you could only achieve better results at Welmore Lake Sluice and Denver by holding up the water on the Washlands either in larger quantities or for a longer time?— No, I did not agree with that.
Mr. St. John Raikes.] I am afraid I thought you agreed with the Honourable Member; that was the proposition I understood him to put to you.
Lands as a reservoir-that is its first function-in order that we could close that sluice and so prevent the congestion of these two streams of traffic; but the moment that that peak is off and the water has now begun to fall in the other we can discharge much more rapidly by the arrangements that are proposed when the danger point is over than in the old time so much more rapidly that the water will never accumulate on the Wash Lands to the height it does now owing to the defective arrangements for getting rid of the water; day after day it keeps on rising.
1080. What you are going to do then is SO to improve Welmore Lake Sluice? It is the approaches; it comes through some high land.
1081. Through the sluice to the river you are going so to improve conditions that you will very quickly get rid of the water?-That is it.
1082. And that will counterbalance, in your mind, any additional water that you might put on for better regulation at the peak time?-Yes. I have worked it out with floods; I have taken it day by day and seen what the actual heights are as against existing conditions. adjournment.)
Sir Murdoch Macdonald.
1085. Yes, if I may intervene that is what the witness did say, but he added that he was going to change the size and dimensions of the Welmore Lake Sluice? -Yes.
1086. To such an extent that if he did put on additional water, if he did keep it a longer time, the effect of the alteration and the sluice enlargement would be such that the water would come away quicker later on?-Yes.
Mr. St. John Raikes.
1087. That is what I had thought you had said. I have worked out the actual effect of a flood lasting seven days, decreasing from 4,700 cusecs down to 2,000. That is the amount of water which would accumulate on the Washlands, assuming the present conditions, and assuming the conditions are improved as the Commission proposed. In the one case you could discharge 2,000, in the other 4,000.
1088. I do not want to stop you in anything, but I think I would rather
15 Julii, 1927.]
Mr. WILLIAM JAMES EAMES BINNIE.
pursue my examination in my own way, and you can say that in re-examination if necessary.—It is so difficult without dealing with actual figures.
1089. If you want to put it forward I shall not stand in your way for a moment. I wanted to deal with the comparison which was made by another Honourable Member about the two lines of traffic?-Yes.
1090. You regard that as really being parallel with this case?-Yes.
1091. Is not there this distinction, that if you get two lines of traffic the police can hold up one to let the other pass? -Yes.
1092. Then when it has passed, No. 2 can be let through ?—Yes.
1093. There being no question of time when it was not possible for the traffic to get through. What I mean is that you can only let your water down one channel on the ebb?-Yes.
1094. Of course the ebb ceases after a time?-Yes.
1095. If you are holding up your water in your other channel and it misses getting out on the ebb it will have to wait till the next ebb?-Yes.
1096. I am only putting that as a distinction.-Yes, that is quite correct.
1097. Is not the real difficulty that has always faced anyone at Denver Sluice, Mr. Binnie, that the two sets of water, the water coming down the Old West, asd the water coming down the Hundred Foot converge, and one of them rather chokes the other?-That is so; that is the principal difficulty.
1098. You are proposing to lower the low water level?-Yes.
1102. If that alteration, the straightening out of the river at Eau Brink, had that effect, your general reconditioning of the river and the training walls ought, of course, to have quite as much as that? -Yes. He said eight feet; I have calculated the exact figure.
1103. Eight feet and six feet?-I think I gave the figure as five feet yesterday at Denver I anticipate lowering.
1104. Mr. W. H. Wheeler's Report of February, 1884, on page 5, the last paragraph but one. I will read you the paragraph: "In 1795 the first Act obtained for diverting the river from its tortuous course of five miles by a straight cut two and a-half miles long from Eau Brink to Lynn. The works were not commenced for several years afterwards, the cut being finally opened in 1821. The effect of this straight cut was, to lower the low-water mark upwards of eight feet at Eau Brink and about six feet at Denver, and to scour out and lower the bed of the river between those two places."-Yes. That is, between 1821 and 1822 there was a I have all the levels lowering then.
back for these years in front of me. 1105. That was the immediate effect? -Yes.
1106. Then he goes on in another paragraph to deal with the cutting of the Vinegar Channel which is on the line where you are proposing to put your piles for your training walls?—Yes.
1107. The cutting of that Vinegar shallow again resulted in a lowering of the water by three feet?-Is that at Denver Sluice?
1108. No, I think that was at Lynn?— I have the amount of lowering brought about at various points.
1109. I do not know what effect that had higher up?-The Middle Level outfall was it?
1110. No. Here it is: "In 1853 the Norfolk Estuary Company improved the channel by a new cut through the marshes below Lynn, two miles in length, continued by training walls for a mile through the Vinegar Middle Sands. This cut lowered the water at Lynn about three feet "?-Yes.
1111. It goes on, a point which no doubt interested you at the time; "It was intended that the training should have continued for another mile through the sands, and had the work been completed as originally designed, a further benefit would have accrued to the drain
15 Julii, 1927.]
Mr. WILLIAM JAMES EAMES BINNIE.
age in times of flood."-Yes. I find at Middle Level the average of the lowwater levels in 1853, just after it was formed was minus 0.32 ordnance datum; that is the mean of the highest and lowwater levels in each month throughout that year.
1112. In what year?-1853. on getting better the next year, getting down to minus 2.32 in 1854, and minus 4.88 in 1861. A gradual lowering took place, rapidly at first. It is a most interesting diagram here showing what is going on.
1113. I will look at it some time when I have a little less to do. I quite follow that is a very interesting thing to follow up. I am only basing these questions on one very broad ground, and that is that the net result of these works will be undoubtedly, so far as engineering foresight can tell, to lower the water at Denver Sluice very considerably ?-Yes.
1114. That, of course, will give greater opportunity of getting rid of flood water than exists at present?-Yes.
1115. Because in effect it has the effect of enlarging the river channel at that point? It has this effect, as far as the South Level is concerned, of giving them a very much better discharge for all their area because they have a better gradient through Denver Sluice, and also they can empty their channels to a lower level so that when the sluice doors are shut they get plenty of room for the accumulation of a flood when the tide does not allow of the tide doors being opened. It makes an enormous improvement.
1116. Therefore the effect of these lower works will be that there will be less need of regulation of water at Weimore Lake Sluice?-Yes.
1117. I suggest to you that if the works have results anything like those we may expect from those in the past, it is entirely unnecessary to alter the system of dealing with the water at Welmore Lake Sluice?-I do not agree with that. I worked it out assuming that you did not hold up the water and you allowed it to pass out of Welmore Lake Sluice, and assuming that you held it up on a peak flood, and it made a very considerable difference to the storage which was allowed in the South Level for the accumulation of flood water, so much so, that I came to the conclusion that if some device such as holding it up on this peak was not adopted, the channel below
Denver Sluice would have to be enlarged.
1118. That is the view you take? I suggest to you that from the point of view of your low-water level the greater discharge you get down the Hundred Foot the better as compared with any discharge-I was going to say any regulated discharge you get in any other way? Oh, no. If you improve the Hundred Foot River you facilitate the rapid discharge of flood water; you have taken away your policeman; you have now allowed that rush of traffic of the water coming through Denver Sluice.
1119. But you have your reserve all the time. I put it perhaps rather too strongly, that the Hundred Foot ought to remain as the main channel for the flood water from the uplands?—You see I must join issue in that; it can only take 1,500 cusecs.
1120. Let me put my reason to you and see if you agree with me or disagree. What you object to, and very naturally, is the coincidence of the flow from the Hundred Foot and Denver Sluice at the time of low water?—Yes.
1121. Because it raises the low-water level? Yes.
1122. The water from each of those places has to get away some time?—Yes.
1123. Let us now for a moment compare the times of tide levels. Taking the time of high tide at Denver Sluice at three o'clock can you tell me what would be the time of high tide on an ordinary tide at Earith? Yes.
1124. You need not trouble about minutes; 2 hours or 3 hours later?I have it in front of me. I cannot carry all these things in my mind, but I have them on paper.
1125. All right. If you want to be quite exact, I will not check you. It is two hours' lag; high water would be 5 o'clock.
1126. I have records which make it three, but I will take two for the purpose. I will take two because the actual figure does not matter.-I beg your pardon; I think it is 2 hours 40 minutes. I made a mistake there.
1127. What is the period of slackwater at the height of an ordinary tide at Denver-half an hour?-I should think somewhere about that.
1128. About that, I think. Again, I am not going to try and tie you or my
15° Julii, 1927.]
Mr. WILLIAM JAMES EAMES BINNIE.
self, but it is about half an hour?-I should think so.
1129. At 3.30 at Denver Sluice, it being high tide at 3, the tide commences to ebb? Yes.
1130. At the same time high tide has not been reached at Earith and will not be reached till 5 o'clock; that is true, is not it? Will not be reached till about five o'clock.
1131. So the tide is holding up the flood water that is coming down in the Hundred Foot at 3.30 at a time when it has begun to ebb at Denver?—It is forming an obstruction to the discharge.
1132. It is holding it up because the water is gradually rising? It depends on the intensity of the flood discharge whether it would really hold it up; that is why it is so difficult. Sometimes you have the velocity entirely in one direction forcing the tide back, so it is not always holding it up.
It tends to hold it up.
1133. Quite. is that it is not high tide at Earith until an hour and a half after the tide has commenced to ebb at Denver?-Two hours 40 minutes, yes.
But the net effect of this
1134. You have told us the water comes down more slowly on the ebb than it goes up on the flood?-Yes.
1135. How long would it take to come down from Earith to Denver?-A particle of water?
1136. Yes. I can calculate that out." 1137. I simply want the comparison. Travelling up from Denver to Earith it takes two hours: how long would the same water take to come down on the ebb? I asked you, was it a particle of water? I mean whether it is the same water to come back as has gone up.
1138. I cannot tell you that.-You are asking very abstruse questions indeed. Unless they are very accurately defined I cannot answer them, and then I will have to calculate them out.
1139. I have no doubt the question is a very abstruse one, but I am looking at it from a layman's point of view. You see the point I am going to make, that while the tide is still rising in the direction of Earith and holding up flood water you are getting a runaway below Denver which you can take advantage of at Denver Sluice as soon as the tide has fallen sufficiently far?-Yes.
1140. And the margin of time you have got is the one-and-a-half hours it takes
to go up and whatever time I should take it at two-and-a-half hours-that it takes to come back?-Yes.
1141. In all the Denver Sluice gets four hours' start in discharge, if it begins to discharge as soon as the ebb begins, of the Hundred Foot River. Those are the two streams of traffic?I have it worked out on actual diagrams. I do not think it is four hours.
1142. As I say I am not tieing you down to an hour or so?-You are going into very abstruse questions.
1143. What I mean is that you do not get the coincidence of discharge at the time of low water level, because Denver Sluice has already had some hours of discharge before the Hundred Foot water comes down to joint it?-You are talking of the Hundred Foot water? Of course you would not with the Hundred Foot, but if you are discharging through Welmore Lake Sluice you have only one-andthree-quarter miles to come.
1144. You drive me to absolute despair when you say, Are you talking of the Hundred Foot water? I thought I had made it plain. The remarks I have been making could not possibly apply to Welmore Lake Sluice?-The last mile and three quarters is both waters, and I must distinguish in my mind whether you mean the water coming from Earith, or whether you mean both streams, one coming from the Washlands and the other coming from Earith.
1145. We will pass, to clear that point up, to Welmore Lake Sluice. If no water has been put into the Hundred Foot Washes there would not be any water to come through Welmore Lake Sluice except perhaps the modest trifle that would come down the Old Bedford which really does not count?-No.
1146. So there might be no water from Welmore Lake Sluice at all? There might be no water; there would not be in dry weather to speak of.
1147. In flood times Welmore Lake Sluice would open automatically on the ebb?-Yes.
1148. About the same time as Denver Sluice did it would not really?—There would be a little lag.
1149. It would be a little later, would not it? Yes, it would be about six minutes later.
1150. A bit later. So now we get our procession. The first in the field is Denver Sluice ?—Yes.
15 Julii, 1927.] Mr. WILLIAM JAMES EAMES BINNIE.
1151. That is followed a little later by any water that may be coming from the Washes?—Yes.
1152. That is lastly followed by the third stream of traffic which pursues the other two and comes into operation last of all? Yes.
1153. So that really the people who are most handicapped at the present moment in a sense are those who are dependent mainly on the flow from the Hundred Foot?-No.
1154. Perhaps I ought not to have said that those who are dependent on the drainage facilities afforded by the Hundred Foot and the Old Bedford?And the Old Bedford, yes.
1155. The Old West River or Ten Mile River has a distinct preference at the present time?-They have been carrying out far more work in that region than any other. You say the Old West has a preference?
1156. Mr. Binnie, you know better?I have been here for two days and it is very difficult to follow all these questions.
1157. As a matter of fact as you have talked about their carrying out new work, have they recently increased their accommodation at their sluice for the discharge of water by 50 per cent.?They made a larger sluice, yes.
1158. Have they put their enlargement of the sluice on the side where it is most likely to be brought into contact with the water from the Hundred Foot; that
is to say, on the left hand side?-I
1159. You forget! It is a pity you mentioned the work they have been doing. I think. It has not assisted the general proposition?-I thought you were referring to the work of the enlargement of the channels which has been going on.
1160. We have reached this position. We have our three lines of traffic which really all work automatically. You have Denver Sluice which gets into line first; you have Welmore Lake Sluice which gets into line second, and then you have the water which comes down the Hundred Foot, the flood water, which I suggest is held up by the rising tide, which comes third. That has been the position for the last 250 years, has it not?I do not know when they constructed that Welmore Lake Sluice. I do not think the conditions were the same 250 years ago.
1161. The Welmore Lake Sluice is much later than that?-Much later than that.
1162. There was no sluice, but they used to put a barrier across to stop the tide coming up, and then they used to dig through it to let the water out?250 years ago it would not be true to say the conditions were the same as they are to-day.
1163. I will not trouble about 100 years: say for the last 150 years that has been the system?-Well, I should have put it less than that, but still I do not want to boggle about the time.
1154. I am not boggling about it, giving you 100 years; I will give you another 100. For the last 50 years has that been the system?-Certainly, yes.
1165. Can you name any of the eminent engineers whose advice you have followed as regards the lower and more important works, who have suggested this modification that you propose up above?--I do not think I can.
1166 You cannot. You stand alone representing the accumulated wisdom of 250 years? Some have suggested in words that it would be better to make better provision for the utilisation of the Washlands; I do not think they have ever turned it into a definite scheme.
1167. Do you suggest that at this point of the proceedings when you are expecting to create a lower low water level than has apparently been created for very many years, the continuance of the present system is likely to lead to the slightest danger?-Yes. On an occasion of an exceptional flood-I admit that the coincidence would only come about once in perhaps 30 years but on such ar occasion it would be a very great advantage indeed to be able to hold up that flood water for a short time.
1168. You cannot hold up any more water you know than you can under the present system?-Oh yes, you could keep it back and not allow it to discharge when there is this peak flood coming down in the other direction.
1169. It comes back to the old thing, that under present conditions you have to hold up more water, or hold it up for longer, and under the new conditions you have either to hold up more water or to hold it up longer?-That is where I do not agree, and I was just working out the figures during lunch time to show it is not so on a recent