|Posted by Aran|
I've been reading up on my city's storm drain system, and I've found that apparently there are some pretty interesting brick drains I want to go looking for once we get a few days without rain here. Unfortunately, there is a slight potential issue with these drains.
The oldest drains in this city (the brick ones I want to find) were built over one hundred years years ago. According to a statement issued by a city utility manager, inspecting the storm drain pipes is not a priority. Reading between the lines, it is possible that some of these drains have not been inspected since their construction.
This by itself wouldn't be quite as worrying, except for the numerous sinkholes in the last five years caused by structural failures of the city's water utilities- including a sixteen foot deep sinkhole the size of a car that formed just last year when one of the brick storm drains collapsed. Considering my desire to find and explore these brick drains, it is a concern.
So, we've all heard about how to judge the structural integrity of an abandoned building, but how about the structural integrity of drains and tunnels? What are the signs of structural damage to a drain, and should I even be concerned at all?
I found some really interesting reports related to this topic. I say related, only because at a glance I did not see exactly what to look for, as it would apply to a drainer. But they all have some interesting stuff on planning and building.
Here are some links to USDOT reports: http://onlinepubs....rp/docs/NCHRP20-07
And a story of rehabbing a 150 year-old brick drain in Canada: https://www.canadi...hless-technologies
If you have a date/time set, shoot me a line. If it fits my schedule and you are interest in a fellow tunnel rat, I can be in Mad-town in 90min. Milwaukee doesn't have any brick drains that I know of, with the exception of the steam tunnels downtown still in use by WE Energies that seem impossible to get into.