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UER Forum > Rookie Forum > Draining in the Spring melt (Viewed 2760 times)
Aran 


Location: Grand Junction, CO
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Huh. I guess covid made me a trendsetter.

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Draining in the Spring melt
< on 3/11/2015 12:34 AM >
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With temperatures reaching into the lower 60's in my area, one of the manhole covers I have been waiting to get into is finally uncovered after all that snow.

Is it safe to do my first draining expedition, or should I wait until summer? I anticipate that a higher water level will impede any attempts to go any significant distance, but I doubt there will be any sudden flooding (unless, are there floodgates in the storm sewer systems?).

So, I'm here to ask the experts. Should I stay above ground for now, or should I take a quick look around down there?




"Sorry, I didn't know I'm not supposed to be here," he said, knowing full well he wasn't supposed to be there.

relik 


Location: 44.26126°,-88.41502° (Appleton, WI)
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There is no truth, Only a perspective.

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Re: Draining in the Spring melt
< Reply # 1 on 3/11/2015 1:14 AM >
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Depends on the size of the drain, but i assume it's a smaller RCP.
Personally, i'm waiting until the snow is done meltin', and i suggest you do the same. Luckily we didn't get too much snow anyways, so it won't be long now!

Edit: A quick look never hurts!



[last edit 3/11/2015 1:15 AM by relik - edited 1 times]

"When it rains, just find bigger drains."
Aran 


Location: Grand Junction, CO
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Huh. I guess covid made me a trendsetter.

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Re: Draining in the Spring melt
< Reply # 2 on 3/11/2015 1:51 AM >
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The drain in question appears to be nearly tall enough for me to stand, though I'll have to bend over a little bit.

Anyone know if drains have automated floodgates and underground reservoir tanks and such that can rapidly flood a tunnel?




"Sorry, I didn't know I'm not supposed to be here," he said, knowing full well he wasn't supposed to be there.

DJ Craig 

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Re: Draining in the Spring melt
< Reply # 3 on 3/11/2015 4:56 AM >
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I'm not 100% sure about this, so proceed with caution...but my instinct would be to say that snow melt, while it could cause a very significant rise in water levels, it would not be a sudden increase. It's the sudden increases that are truly dangerous for draining. So, I would think that if the water level is still low enough to be doable, and the forecast is good, then you should be fine. But again, not sure, so proceed with caution.

Posted by Aran
Anyone know if drains have automated floodgates and underground reservoir tanks and such that can rapidly flood a tunnel?


It's rare but not completely unheard of, especially in larger cities. Generally this only happens in CSO (Combined Sewerage Overflow) systems or sewers. CSO systems are being phased out in most cities for environmental reasons.




"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." -Dr. Suess
DJ Craig 

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Re: Draining in the Spring melt
< Reply # 4 on 3/11/2015 5:01 AM >
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I've encountered such floodgates a total of 5 times in my life. And I've explored literally hundreds of drains around the US. The floodgates I've encountered were in the following metro areas:

Louisville, KY
Atlanta, GA
Detroit, MI
Indianopolis, IN
Minneapolis, MN

So, if you're in one of those cities, extra caution may be warranted. That is NOT by any means an exhaustive list of all such floodgates! Just the ones that I've personally encountered.




"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." -Dr. Suess
NotBatman 


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Re: Draining in the Spring melt
< Reply # 5 on 3/11/2015 12:18 PM >
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I wouldn't think twice about snow melt, myself. The concern is a vast amount of water (even from a drizzle as it collects and enters the drain from a vast amount of surface area) all entering the system at once. If you have four feet of snow and the weather has gone from winter to, like, literally 80 degrees overnight, that might cause enough melt to worry about. (So go at night when the air cools and the melt slows.)

More likely what's happening is the drain in question will be a little fuller than usual, and the flow will be a little stronger. If you were going in from an outfall, it would be a simple matter of making sure the water isn't stupid and the forecast is clear. Doing your first run from a manhole, the situation is a LITTLE trickier, but again, you'll see the flow and be able to evaluate it before you're in it.

Mind the slope of the drain and how slippery it is with the increased water flow, but I expect you don't have to worry much about the melt.

(This advice is 100% discounting the potential for floodgates and the like - I don't know where you are, specifically, so I can't speak to your specific environment, but as has been mentioned, they're pretty rare and probably not a concern in the smaller systems.)

No drains when it rains. Srs bzns.




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DomVisuals 


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Re: Draining in the Spring melt
< Reply # 6 on 3/12/2015 12:35 AM >
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The other members know a lot more than me and have given good advice.
I'd personally wait until things dry up some more. The weather is similar in my city, I took a visit to the entrance of a Drain I recently discovered, and it was a pretty full, not so much that I couldn't explore it per say, but I think it'd be best to wait.

Drains aren't just gonna get demolished either.




Aran 


Location: Grand Junction, CO
Gender: Male
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Huh. I guess covid made me a trendsetter.

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Re: Draining in the Spring melt
< Reply # 7 on 3/12/2015 2:40 AM >
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By the way, I forgot to ask this, do any of you have any tips on protecting a normal digital camera (non- waterproof) from getting wet? I don't want to stumble and ruin my camera. Thanks.




"Sorry, I didn't know I'm not supposed to be here," he said, knowing full well he wasn't supposed to be there.

DJ Craig 

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Re: Draining in the Spring melt
< Reply # 8 on 3/12/2015 8:20 PM >
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Posted by Aran
By the way, I forgot to ask this, do any of you have any tips on protecting a normal digital camera (non- waterproof) from getting wet? I don't want to stumble and ruin my camera. Thanks.


There's no magic solution to that that I've ever seen! Just have to be careful. Or perhaps get a GoPro.




"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." -Dr. Suess
relik 


Location: 44.26126°,-88.41502° (Appleton, WI)
Gender: Male
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There is no truth, Only a perspective.

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Re: Draining in the Spring melt
< Reply # 9 on 3/12/2015 9:17 PM >
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Posted by DJ Craig


There's no magic solution to that that I've ever seen! Just have to be careful. Or perhaps get a GoPro.


Yeah, being careful is your best bet. When not in use, you could use a dry-bag of sorts.




"When it rains, just find bigger drains."
HipsterKitty 


Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia
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I'm not a real hipster, but I am a real kitty.

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Re: Draining in the Spring melt
< Reply # 10 on 3/13/2015 1:45 AM >
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Posted by Aran
By the way, I forgot to ask this, do any of you have any tips on protecting a normal digital camera (non- waterproof) from getting wet? I don't want to stumble and ruin my camera. Thanks.


If you don't mind it being awkward to hold, you could use a large zip-lock bag and poke the lens through a hole. Then tape off the openings around the lens and press the shutter from the outside. You won't be able to adjust the settings without opening the bag, but if you do a decent job with your tape, it should be able to survive being submerged for a second or two. I wouldn't recommend relying on this method to work flawlessly, though, as I am literally pulling it out of thin air as I type. It should work in theory, but I'm sure as hell not going to test it.




DJ Craig 

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Re: Draining in the Spring melt
< Reply # 11 on 3/13/2015 4:32 AM >
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Posted by HipsterKitty
If you don't mind it being awkward to hold, you could use a large zip-lock bag and poke the lens through a hole. Then tape off the openings around the lens and press the shutter from the outside. You won't be able to adjust the settings without opening the bag, but if you do a decent job with your tape, it should be able to survive being submerged for a second or two. I wouldn't recommend relying on this method to work flawlessly, though, as I am literally pulling it out of thin air as I type. It should work in theory, but I'm sure as hell not going to test it.


I've tried this and it is indeed extremely awkward. It becomes almost impossible to see the display, see through the viewfinder, or adjust settings. And then you end up getting a tiny bit of water inside the bag and it just sits in there, moving around. But, hey, give it a shot, maybe you'll have more success than me. Can't hurt.

Another possibility, if you're ok with sticking to phone photography, is getting a waterproof phone case, such as the LifeProof case.




"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." -Dr. Suess
wranglerroadhead 


Location: San Diego/LA
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Safari Kay

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Re: Draining in the Spring melt
< Reply # 12 on 3/20/2015 4:31 AM >
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Posted by HipsterKitty


If you don't mind it being awkward to hold, you could use a large zip-lock bag...


Bag works. I put a simple camera in one, some recharged silica gel (pop it in the oven on low heat to dehydrate) and used a bunch of rubber bands to hold the plastic flat over the lens. If you are careful, you can just bring a cheap camera. An old cell phone, for example. On the off chance it gets wet/dropped and dies, it wont matter much.

As for cameras in general, unless you have a camera with fully custimizable settings (ie a DSLR), it is going to be difficult to get autofocus or any sort of good shots in a dark area. GoPros and all other brands of helmet cameras are trash in low light conditions too without some balls-to-the-wall external lights. Think custom made headlamps with external battery packs and LED trays just to achieve "normal" video quality. All food for thought. I shot poor video for years and loved every frame of it anyways

As for snowmelt, I wouldnt be too worried. Unless you have an extremely warm day and a ton of snowfall to be melted you should be fine. And even then, I do not believe that it would be melting fast enough to cause much of a flash flood. Not to say it cannot happen though. Try and research the area you will be exploring. Drain atlases and EPA websites are always reliable information sources. If you know what the characteristics of the drain you are exploring are, you can better know the risks involved and make an informed decision. Same to the floodgates/pumps/overflows/etc.




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UER Forum > Rookie Forum > Draining in the Spring melt (Viewed 2760 times)


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