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UER Forum > Archived Rookie Forum > "When it rains, no drains!" (Viewed 346 times)

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"When it rains, no drains!"
< on 3/12/2009 12:25 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
But how long after a nice rain storm do you want to wait before attempting to enter a drain? Does it depend on the amount of rain, or the amount of water in the infall/outfall?

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Re: "When it rains, no drains!"
<Reply # 1 on 3/12/2009 12:56 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
There was an interesting graph floating around that showed the peak flow times after rain for drains, and for creeks, the upshot of which was that drains peak shortly after rain, while creeks take much longer.

How readily the catchment for the drain directs the water into the pipes is a significant factor - it's all paved cityscape, then the water will move relatively quickly. It might not be so simple, though. There might well be buffers in the drainage system, for example a lake that overflows into the tunnels. The issue there is that when the buffer reaches capacity, the flow into the drain will suddenly increase by the volume that was previously filling the buffer.

Personally, I'm a paranoid drainer - if it's recently rained, I'd go have a hot chocolate with marshmallows, and try again another day.

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Re: "When it rains, no drains!"
<Reply # 2 on 3/12/2009 12:57 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
They clear out relatively quickly, and the outfall should give you a decent indication of what's going on inside. Course, if it's been raining then you're better off just putting it off for another day when the weather's clearer. You never know what might start up again while you're inside.

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Re: "When it rains, no drains!"
<Reply # 3 on 3/12/2009 1:17 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
I haven't done this myself, so I may be wrong, but maybe it would be a good idea to stake out some drains in your area when it rains to see how long they generally take to go dry again? All drain systems are probably a little different, so different wait periods would apply.

Seems like if you can get into a drain after it rains, it is probably okay. Wouldn't the major danger be if you were in the drain and it started to rain and you didn't know?

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Re: "When it rains, no drains!"
<Reply # 4 on 3/12/2009 1:33 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
You also have to factor in the amount of water that pools inside drains. The outflow decreasing can't guarantee the water inside will be low.

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Re: "When it rains, no drains!"
<Reply # 5 on 3/12/2009 2:35 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
In my experience it doesn't take too long. I went to that drain I was telling you about one day after it had rained, and it was pretty full. Went back the next day and it had gone back down to normal. It's even a creek drain, but I'd imagine it varies from one to another

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Re: "When it rains, no drains!"
<Reply # 6 on 3/12/2009 5:01 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
.. Or some drains, if they're outfalls connect to a floodplain, or bottom of a drainage valley, are totally submerged for like all winter

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Re: "When it rains, no drains!"
<Reply # 7 on 3/15/2009 7:44 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
Here is something that is being worked on at the moment.

It's not really an answer to your question, however it relates to it to some extent.



Are you over 18?

If you are under 18 then do not bother reading the Code Of Ethics or registering to join.

However we would like to point out a couple of things to all readers (people under-18, people applying to join the Clan or people already in the Clan).

The Cave Clan has a saying - When It Rains, No Drains!

It gets to the point, but there's a lot more to it.

How can you be safe in a drain?


The problem with the above comment is that most of you are already exploring drains - the majority of you are probably quite new to it - you've checked out your local drains and want more!

There are plenty of hazards that we can't really give you much advice on. Gasses, for example, can sometimes build up in drains. What do we do when this happens? Get away/out of there right away.
Not the most constructive advice.

Obstacles can be hazardous. There are all kinds of drops and shafts that you can fall down. What can you do to stop yourself falling down one of these drops? Carry a spare torch. Remember what obstructions you have passed on your way up the tunnel in case you need to get out in the dark. Be careful. Take your time. Commonsense stuff really.
Also not very constructive.

Always let someone know where you are going.

Try not to explore alone.

Flooding drains!

Now here is something we can tell you about!

Before entering the drain

1 - Always check the weather forecast before going draining.

2 - Forecasts are not always correct so keep an eye out whenever you get the chance.

3 - Remember that in some of the longer tunnels or tunnels that are part of a long water-system may be 5 to 10 kilometers long so a storm may be already flooding the tunnel, creek or river further upstream while the weather is still fine where you are.

4 - Have some awareness of the power of a drain in full flood. Many years a go four of us dragged an old council bench up a drain. It had solid concrete legs and thick wooden planks that you sat on. After it was washed out we found it a kilometer down stream in the creek the drain flowed into. The concrete was smashed to bits and only held together by the rio-steel in the middle of it. The planks of wood were all snapped as well.

Check this link if you would like to see a flood in full-force.

Once inside...

We are presuming you are heading up the tunnel against the flow. You may find yourself entering a drain with the flow. If you do not know the drain then it may have a permanently flooded or dangerous outlet that flows into a larger potentially deadly waterway. Remember that a flood will obviously come from the upstream end of the tunnel, but some side tunnels will also be flooding ahead of you once the storm has reached the area outside the tunnel. If the tunnel is a tributary of a larger waterway then the level of the major waterway may have risen as well.

If you are new to the tunnel then keep an eye out for ways out and ladders to manholes.

If you hear water coming out of a side-pipe then don't panic. Try and check to see if it's raining or just water from something other than rain.
If it is rain then leave the tunnel in a calm manner (easier said than done, but slipping over and banging your head or twisting an ankle would be the last thing you would want to do in this situation).
If you are too far up and don't know any other ways out then try and get to a ladder (during summer storms drains will sometimes fill to the roof, but quite often the drain will only partially flood meaning that if you find the higher ground you should be able to sit the flood out).

Someone once suggested carrying a smoke flare to stick through a manhole.

In a long underground drain you will hear the water coming from a long way off. It's usually a distant rumble. If you don't know the drain then it is best to get out (the only reason you would continue was if you knew there was a waterfall up ahead and the weather was fine). Once again, DO NOT PANIC!

If the tunnel opens back into a creek at the other end then you will not hear the flood until it enters the tunnel.

If you are caught trying to get out and the "wave" finally gets to you, remember that there will be more than one wave. The first may only be a 20 centimeters deep. The waves will keep coming and it will continue to get deeper - DO NOT PRESUME THAT THE FIRST WAVE WILL BE THE LAST!

Being in a canal can sometimes be more dangerous than being in a tunnel. Some have steep walls that you can't climb and you don't have the advantage of hearing the water coming as you do in a tunnel. Some canals are extremely long so once again the problem of it raining suburbs away can occur.

So far all of these suggestions are from actual experiences we have had. To give you advice on what to do if you are getting washed through would only be a guess.

We have seen footage of people getting washed through canals pretty much sitting up as if driving an invisible car. This went on for kilometers. If you were washed through a tunnel (in a smaller flood) and you could remain above waterlevel then it would be handy to know what you are expecting. If there was a large waterfall then you will need to get a hold of a manhole ladder. Keep in mind that the side tunnels you have passed will also be flooding into the tunnel you are in.

So as we said, the safest thing is to not go in drains, but if you are already doing so, then take care and keep in mind that if a drain floods it will destroy all before it.


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Re: "When it rains, no drains!"
<Reply # 8 on 3/16/2009 5:18 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
Posted by WarBird69
But how long after a nice rain storm do you want to wait before attempting to enter a drain?

Personally, a day. Then if the outfall looks fine I go for it.

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Re: "When it rains, no drains!"
<Reply # 9 on 3/16/2009 9:45 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
Some drains are well ventilated by gutter-boxes and grilles. A concrete drain like this will be easier to explore after rain than say a blue-stone tunnel in damp drain.

Depends on the drain really I think.

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UER Forum > Archived Rookie Forum > "When it rains, no drains!" (Viewed 346 times)

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