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UER Forum > UE Tutorials, Lessons, and Useful Info > Draining (Viewed 5978 times)
MYSTERY-IS-IN-THE-AIR 


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Draining
< on 4/21/2015 7:00 PM >
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Hello fellow Urban Explorers! I have a couple of questions about draining. I know where several drains are located, but I don't know how safe they actually are. I have some waterproof boots, a breathing mask, and a good flashlight, but I'm not sure if I should go all the way down these tunnels. Is there a way to get the drain tunnel lay out from a website, or maybe from the city? I wouldn't mind just going down these tunnels, but I don't want to die because of the lack of oxygen. There could be busy streets further down these tunnels which would fill them with carbon monoxide. What do you recommend me to do?




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Astro 

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Re: Draining
< Reply # 1 on 4/21/2015 7:02 PM >
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Well, first...where are you? What part of the country?




[02:33:56] <Valkyre> Astro your whole life is ruled by the sentence ' life is better without clothes on'
[22:16:00] <DSomms> it was normal until astro got here
Astro: Patron Saint of Drains
MYSTERY-IS-IN-THE-AIR 


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Re: Draining
< Reply # 2 on 4/21/2015 7:03 PM >
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Posted by Astro
Well, first...where are you? What part of the country?


I live near LA. Just about an hour away




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DomVisuals 


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Re: Draining
< Reply # 3 on 4/21/2015 7:32 PM >
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Posted by MYSTERY-IS-IN-THE-AIR


I live near LA. Just about an hour away


Take a look at this, it might be able to help you a bit.
http://dpw.lacount...ormdrain/index.cfm

Also, I suggest taking a look at this:
http://sleepycity....proach-to-draining
Not all the information will be relevant, but it's an excellent introduction to draining and has some helpful information.

Good luck!




Cracked 


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Re: Draining
< Reply # 4 on 4/24/2015 6:37 AM >
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Drains are dangerous, drains are fun. If you're anywhere near a coastal system that might flood - check the tide table, go at low tide and keep an eye on the time. Same goes for any kind of water, if you only take one thing away from this thread, I hope it will be this: "When it rains, don't do drains". LA is pretty dry, so not normally something you'll have to worry about, but just be aware, check the weather forecast for the day and be sensible because tunnels can flood QUICKLY in some areas, and the flow can be fast moving and difficult/impossible to go against.

Edited to add, three good light sources, preferable at least one headlamp.



[last edit 4/24/2015 6:38 AM by Cracked - edited 1 times]

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Herm 


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Re: Draining
< Reply # 5 on 4/24/2015 1:13 PM >
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I found some drain maps via city public works department in an annual report on Storm Drains. It was part of a much larger report. Historical societies might have some old maps too. Google is your friend.

Going in outfalls along rivers or lakes or ditches is preferable and safer to manholes. Most manholes are in the middle of roads and you can easily be hit and seriously injured by a car popping up from a manhole. I've gone a 1/2 mile or more back in the drains and never had breathing issues and never used a respirator/mask. If there is flowing water, there should be fresh air coming in too. Most storm drains and sewer systems are separate these days so you shouldn't have to worry about the fumes than come with raw sewage. Any drain that ends in a lake or river or open drain should be a storm drain and not a sewer drain.

As far as things to bring, rubber boots (if you don't want wet feet), multiple flashlights, a camera to document the awesome things you will see, a beverage to enjoy. A waterproof bag can be useful too.

Definitely never drain when it rains or there is a chance of rain.

Just go for it. Its a wonderful underground world.




NotBatman 


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Re: Draining
< Reply # 6 on 4/24/2015 1:21 PM >
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Posted by MYSTERY-IS-IN-THE-AIR
I wouldn't mind just going down these tunnels, but I don't want to die because of the lack of oxygen. There could be busy streets further down these tunnels which would fill them with carbon monoxide. What do you recommend me to do?


Already mentioned:

1. Predator's Approach - it's just good shit.
2. More flashlights than you think you need.
3. No drains when it rains - ever.

As for oxygen, you can buy a really expensive 02/CO/SO2/whatever-else meter if you really want to, but they DO need to be calibrated regularly to work properly.

Generally speaking, though, for storm drains if there's good water flow, there's good air moving around. If there's a breeze in the tunnel, you're usually fine. Where you can run into trouble is when you find yourself in the back end of an older system stirring up rotting leaves and such in stagnant water. That can be trouble.

Pay attention to your body. Be conscious of your heart-rate - make sure to check it from time to time. If it inexplicably starts going faster when you're not actually working any harder, it's time to turn around. Same thing if you start to notice a shortness of breath - it's time to get out and it doesn't even matter if you're pretty sure you can see the end of the tunnel at the end of your light, it's time to go. (Sometimes easier said than done... don't be dumb.)

Be careful, be safe. Bring a friend. Let people know where you're going and (roughly) how long you expect to be incommunicado. Check the forecast, before you leave the house and again before you crawl into the drain. Be aware that while most major metropolitan areas have already purged their underground of the usual orcs and trolls and their belongings, but new tribes can move in from time to time. Every now and then you might come across a treasure cache, but it's pretty rare, these days. (I can't even remember the last time I found a magic dagger, much less an enchanted sword, so adjust your expectations accordingly.) Smaller communities sometimes have a harder time clearing and maintaining their tunnels of monsters and bandits. Once you've got some experience, check in the local taverns for rumors of night raids and such without any obvious base camps around town, that could mean trouble (and treasure!) below.

(the fuck just happened?)






I'm a "Leave only footprints, take only pornography" kind of guy, myself.
MYSTERY-IS-IN-THE-AIR 


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Re: Draining
< Reply # 7 on 5/9/2015 10:15 PM >
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Posted by Dominus


Take a look at this, it might be able to help you a bit.
http://dpw.lacount...ormdrain/index.cfm

Also, I suggest taking a look at this:
http://sleepycity....proach-to-draining
Not all the information will be relevant, but it's an excellent introduction to draining and has some helpful information.

Good luck!


These links are too good! I'm definitely going to have a lot of fun in LA. That map is so awesome, thanks




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Sectovan 


Location: Milwaukee
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Re: Draining
< Reply # 8 on 6/10/2016 7:22 PM >
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So this may sound like a stupid question but I've never been draining before. How can you tell the difference between a drain and a sewer? Is it obvious? I've seen some nice tunnels around Milwaukee I've been meaning to check out but I haven't had the time and was wondering what they actually were.





Darthbindy 


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Re: Draining
< Reply # 9 on 6/11/2016 3:36 AM >
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Posted by Sectovan
So this may sound like a stupid question but I've never been draining before. How can you tell the difference between a drain and a sewer? Is it obvious? I've seen some nice tunnels around Milwaukee I've been meaning to check out but I haven't had the time and was wondering what they actually were.



If it's a sewer, it will be marked "SANITARY SEWER", if otherwise marked as storm, or not marked at all, it is almost certainly a storm drain.
If still unsure what type it is, the smell, and look of what's flowing are also very good indicators of type.
One other thing, is that if it has an outflow, it is storm, as sanitary goes directly to treatment plants.




blackhawk 

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Re: Draining
< Reply # 10 on 7/3/2016 2:28 AM >
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Posted by MYSTERY-IS-IN-THE-AIR
I have some waterproof boots, a breathing mask, and a good flashlight, but I'm not sure if I should go all the way down these tunnels. Is there a way to get the drain tunnel lay out from a website, or maybe from the city? I wouldn't mind just going down these tunnels, but I don't want to die because of the lack of oxygen. There could be busy streets further down these tunnels which would fill them with carbon monoxide. What do you recommend me to do?


A respirator is worthless in an O2 deficient area. H2S filters must be new and unsealed immediately before use. The fit must be perfect. In high concentrations it will quickly become saturated and useless.
Without knowing O2 and H2S levels it is a risk especially if the air is stagnant and/or large amount of decaying matter are present. Worse stepping on the sentiment or disturbing rust scale can release large volumes of H2S.
H2S is an -insidious- poison.
Understand it completely before going anywhere it may be present.

CO is not an issue but C02 and methane may be. They are normal byproducts of decaying waste and organic matter.
They can displace O2 especially in low lying areas with no air flow.

Each system is unique and conditions can change even in the same system.
Falls and drowning are the biggest dangers most times.
If it's going to rain or has recently rained, don't drain.




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Ptasteful_Pteranodon 


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Re: Draining
< Reply # 11 on 1/11/2018 8:44 AM >
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Don't want to spread misinformation, but I've read that a potentially useful technique for determining if oxygen is too low is by bringing matches. Supposedly, if you can't get a match to stay lit, that could indicate that O2 levels in the area are dangerously low, and you should leave immediately.

I can see this as working in theory, but I would imagine that a flame could probably survive in lower-oxygen levels than a human could for very long, and that's not even accounting for the toxicity of potential asphyxiant gases like H2S or CO in tunnels. Can anyone with greater knowledge in the field shed some more light on the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of this technique?




blackhawk 

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Re: Draining
< Reply # 12 on 1/11/2018 3:58 PM >
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Posted by Ptasteful_Pteranodon
Don't want to spread misinformation, but I've read that a potentially useful technique for determining if oxygen is too low is by bringing matches. Supposedly, if you can't get a match to stay lit, that could indicate that O2 levels in the area are dangerously low, and you should leave immediately.

I can see this as working in theory, but I would imagine that a flame could probably survive in lower-oxygen levels than a human could for very long, and that's not even accounting for the toxicity of potential asphyxiant gases like H2S or CO in tunnels. Can anyone with greater knowledge in the field shed some more light on the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of this technique?


You're on a real streak aren't you?
A flame (15-18.5%) can burn in O2 level below the minimum 19.5% permissible level for human life.
Methane however is flammable at 12% 02... bad science to use a match.
http://www.process...plode/FE_Chp01.htm




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EnvoyToTheMolePeople 


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Re: Draining
< Reply # 13 on 1/14/2018 12:32 AM >
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Well, you can usually gauge how well known a tunnel is by the amount of graffiti. More graffiti=more people. More people=greater chance of human based danger. However, less graffiti and less human contact can mean more environmental dangers, ie deep water, dangerous animals, or hazardous gas.




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AnAppleSnail 


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ALL the flashlights!

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Re: Draining
< Reply # 14 on 1/25/2018 12:53 PM >
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Airflow is more reliable than matches. As Blackhawk points out, a match can burn in poison and low oxygen, and burn a lot around methane. Unless a chilled gas truck crashed, flowing air comes from the surface and has probably diluted concerning chemicals.

Watch your heart rate and tiredness, and don't go in still air. You could still die of things though.




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Pear 


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Re: Draining
< Reply # 15 on 1/25/2018 6:49 PM >
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Posted by Nihil Novi
Well, you can usually gauge how well known a tunnel is by the amount of graffiti. More graffiti=more people. More people=greater chance of human based danger. However, less graffiti and less human contact can mean more environmental dangers, ie deep water, dangerous animals, or hazardous gas.


Both of these things can be true at the same time. There can be loads of graffiti and there can still be environmental dangers.




Aran 


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Re: Draining
< Reply # 16 on 1/26/2018 4:41 AM >
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Also be aware that when you are in a drain, you are under several feet of concrete, dirt, and asphalt. It's not uncommon for there to be no cell service inside tunnels and drains. If you slip or fall and hurt yourself or somehow get stuck, you're on your own. Unlike abandoned buildings and rooftops, you can't count on being able to call for help in a life threatening situation.




At the end of the day, we're all just archaeologists who jumped the gun.

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blackhawk 

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Re: Draining
< Reply # 17 on 1/26/2018 5:07 AM >
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Posted by Aran
Also be aware that when you are in a drain, you are under several feet of concrete, dirt, and asphalt. It's not uncommon for there to be no cell service inside tunnels and drains. If you slip or fall and hurt yourself or somehow get stuck, you're on your own. Unlike abandoned buildings and rooftops, you can't count on being able to call for help in a life threatening situation.


You are also in an active confined space with no lock/tag outs in place.
Pretty much breaching all safety protocols to begin with... anything can happen and with no one there to pull the plug if you can't.




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EnvoyToTheMolePeople 


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Re: Draining
< Reply # 18 on 1/26/2018 1:50 PM >
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Posted by Aran
Also be aware that when you are in a drain, you are under several feet of concrete, dirt, and asphalt. It's not uncommon for there to be no cell service inside tunnels and drains. If you slip or fall and hurt yourself or somehow get stuck, you're on your own. Unlike abandoned buildings and rooftops, you can't count on being able to call for help in a life threatening situation.


To add to this, I would recommend putting your phone on airplane mode once you lose reception. That way you won't lose battery looking for signal, and you can still enable calls if you get into trouble.




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Pear 


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You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

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Re: Draining
< Reply # 19 on 1/26/2018 6:17 PM >
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Posted by Aran
Also be aware that when you are in a drain, you are under several feet of concrete, dirt, and asphalt. It's not uncommon for there to be no cell service inside tunnels and drains. If you slip or fall and hurt yourself or somehow get stuck, you're on your own. Unlike abandoned buildings and rooftops, you can't count on being able to call for help in a life threatening situation.


Truth. I've never had reception in a drain but I've gotten some decent reception at state hospital tunnels.




UER Forum > UE Tutorials, Lessons, and Useful Info > Draining (Viewed 5978 times)
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