What is this mystery pipe?

I have been mapping underground services in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk (mostly gas pipes which are part of the national networl).

Recently I came across a strange pipe sticking out of the ground just south of Thetford at lat 52.3907204 long 0.7781522 . See it for yourself on streetview here:
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.3907204,0.7781522,3a,64.2y,71.48h,77.25t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s1Sm1ivpRmbaxeptlpjiJ5g!2e0!7i16384!8i8192. Screengrab at foot of post:

**What is it?

I’m almost certain that it is not part of the gas network. It could be part of the GPSS oil/petroleum network, but I don’t think it is. While it could be an isolated “nothing” (e.g. a vent from a cess-pit) there is really no reason to have such a thing in that region. It’s a long way from any other built structure. The whiteness anmd the shiny stainless steel flange that attaches it to the subterranean structure all points to something relatively new. But it’s location is at a gap in the hedges that is usually (but of course not always) associated with a large underground structure crossing the road. (E.g. that’s a sign I see in lots of NTS gas routes crossing under roads — which is how I came to find this pipe.)

There is a possibly similar feature about 1km away – but if it is related the second structure is much older and cruder and painted black, and painted black.

In both cases the pipes appear to be near large pig farms.

My only thought is that perhaps large pig farms have non-trivial underground pipe networks for dealing with slurry or something else porcine related.

Does anyone here have any ideas?

Hi, There are several more identical pipes just inside the field edge going both ways from your link point. I would think these are irrigation pipes. There is a lot of irrigation to crops around here.

In Germany I’d consider this as a place to check groundwater level or take samples.

Sometimes natgas pipes or at critical avocations (road and other crossings) not laid bare into the ground but in a mantle pipe. Then a connection to the space between mantle pipe and the gaspipe and surface can be made where, periodically, a sniffer can check possible leakages.

Isn’t there a kind of operator lable on it or on a nearby marker?
From the picture it looks stainless steel to me; most of the time too expensive for farmer irrigation purposes.

Thank you all for all the suggestions. I will bear them in mind when I am next in the vicinity and can give the pipe a closer look. Then I can also look for any labels and markers. Thank you also for the prompt to note that there are more of these near my link point. I had only noticed the one.

The bolted metal flange suggests it is a pipe, not a marker. As mentioned, check for labels, but also check if there is an opening, valve, etc. - but do not touch! :slight_smile: