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Water Icicle Close Cavern Air Quality
Report From:
Report Date: 09/2002.
Published: 09/2002.

We've received another report, unrelated to the first, of poor quality air in Water Icicle Close Cavern. The cavers who reported this one had not heard or seen any of the previous reports from August so paranoia can't account for it. Both cavers reported being "out of breath" and found the prissik back up the entrance shaft "very hard". Details have been passed to the DCA.

DCA REPORT: There have been reports of "bad air" in Water Icicle recently and it has been serious enough on at least one occasion to cause people to have difficulty in breathing at the foot of the shaft, with headaches, nausea, etc. and a struggle to ascend the rope. It was also noted that a flame would not stay alight at the base of the shaft, indicating high levels of CO2.

CO2 is heavier than air so, in the absence of air circulation, it will tend to settle out in the lower parts of the mine. Be aware that CO2 has no smell so there will be little or no warning of problems until you begin to feel breathless. If this happens you should exit the mine as fast as possible.

Note that there are similar and continuing problems in Knotlow where severe pollution is adding to the difficulties. The foul smell of the pollution does sometimes give a warning in Knotlow, unlike Water Icicle, but this is not to be relied on as an indicator of CO2.

DCA is looking into ways of providing better ventilation for these systems but this may not be possible. Jenny Potts, Hon. Sec. Derbyshire Caving Association

previous related report - August 2002
next related report - October 2002

The North West Passage of Water Icicle Close Cavern, Monyash, Derbyshire.
Photo: Shaun Puckering 04/2002
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Stabilisation Work in Oxlow Cavern
Report From: Ralph Johnson C.C.P.C.
Report Date: 09/2002.
Published: 09/2002.

Some stabilisation work is going to be carried out on the slope between the Entrance Pitch and Pitch Two. This is likely to be taking place Fri/Sat/Sun 27th to 29th September. It would be helpful if cavers could give the system a miss for that weekend. Apoligies for any inconvenience. Ralph Johnson CCPC

previous related report - October 2000
next related report - January 2003

Pollution and Poor Air Quality in Knotlow Cavern
Report From: Ralph Johnson C.C.P.C.
Report Date: 09/2002.
Published: 09/2002.

On Thursday 5th Sept we made our second visit to Knotlow to investigate further the atmospheric conditions. Our flame safety lamp was extinguished in Pearl Chamber when it was placed on the floor as we waited for others to descend. It could only be relit at the foot of the pitch. Once it was relit we set off for Waterfall Chamber-there was a noticeable draught towards the climbing shaft (We had also opened the Engine Shaft lid) As previously the lamp went out at the tiop of the Waterfall Pitch. It could not be relit due to a problem with the ignition so the trip was abandoned. Hopefully we will investigate further in the near future. Cavers will have to make their own decisions as to when the system is "safe". In the next day or two I will get some further info of Nigel Cooper as to what levels are likely to be "terminal"!

previous related report - August 2002
next related report - October 2002.

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