Do not consider this an all inclusive guide to drains, or even Houston drains. This is what I know to be true from my experiences in Houston. If anyone would like to add information I welcome it. My knowledge on drains is not absolute but I have been an active drainer for about 3 years, now, and I have been in everything from pure sewage (the stuff that leaves your house through any drain in your house) to pure stormwater (similar to the stuff on the side of the road during rain), from coast to coast. I love them all.
Our meet & greet is Friday and with the weather permitting, anyone who wants to go draining is welcome to join me after eating. This is not a mandatory thing by any means and if you would like to explore something else, someone else might also want to explore something else. Drains are not everyone's cup of tea and I respect that. These meet & greets are designed to allow explorers to meet each other and make connections. Exploring isn't an overall must-be-done at these.
Anyways, I've read that a few of you are new to drains and I thought if you planned on going I would kind of write a little bit of information about them. 1. Will I have to crawl through tunnels and holes?
No. We live in Bayou City. It's a world of massive drains. You might have to duck for a while in some of them and some open up, some do not. The only time crawling through anything would be necessary is manhole access. I have no plans to do this anytime soon, so if you wanna know more. Ask me. 2. Will there be poop in these drains?
No. We live in Bayou City.
Everything makes its way back to the main ship channel and into the ocean, eventually. Sewage drains generally have anything you put down the drain in them, including but not limited to poop, harmful chemicals, soaps, foods, etc. If these all went into the bayous here then Houston would literally be toxic to live in and everything would pretty much be dead. 3. Will I get wet/Is there water in the drain?
Yes. Drains almost always have water of some level in them and it's pretty much always moving (with the exception of serious drought). The water level tends to stay about 1-2 ft. But usually closer to 1 ft, from what I've seen. 4. What do I need to bring?
This is an important question and pretty much the entire reason I am writing this before Friday arrives. Mandatory
You must have both of those. I suggest at least two flashlights, if not more. Batteries aren't a bad idea, either. A lot of people are big fans of headlamps. These are useful for handsfree everything. You can't just set your bag down on the floor for a photo and putting your flashlight in your mouth gets old after a while.
Water is an absolute must. One of the worst thing in the world is being thirsty when surrounded by water. It's like being at the beach without water. All you hear and see and smell is water that YOU CANNOT DRINK. (Cue The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner). Bring something to drink, and more than you think you might need. Always better to have too much than too little (this helps others, too). Clothing
I live my life under the assumption that less clothing is better. So when I go draining (especially in Houston) I wear a pair of boots/sneakers and shorts&Tshirt/dress. This is not everyone's favorite attire for drains. Let's talk about other options.
Some people wear these very fashionable chest waders
Others like more subtle hip waders
Rain boots are ever popular, and cheap as all hell ($20 gets you a decent pair)
There are also galoshes...Johnny Mnemonic is a fan of these and I am unsure as to what exactly he means by them. They are traditionally boots to go over your shoes. In today's world they are interchangeable with "rain boots". I am unsure of this one.
I am sure there are other options as well.
I, personally, don't mind getting storm water on me, as I am not drinking it and I don't typically have giant open wounds on my legs that could be infected or anything.
For some idea of what Houston drains are like, overall, here are a couple photos. (I am in the first one, for scale. I am all of about 5'6") DSC_4349
, on Flickr DSC_4328
, on Flickr
On this particular day, the water didn't even go over the top of my foot, nevermind the boots.
Let me know if you have any question, I would be happy to answer these. I would hate for someone to jump into something they're unsure about. The drain near where we're eating is not very long, and I just want to check out like one part of it. If people want to do more drains, then we can jump in the car and head to some that will likely take a lot longer. This will be truly exploring at it's finest, as I have not seen them all yet.
If it rains for the meet&greet, I am sure we will take another trip to Joystix and arcade all night (never a bad idea in my opinion)