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UER Forum > Archived Rookie Forum > Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath (Viewed 1800 times)
waffle 


Location: Los Angeles, CA (University of Southern California)
Gender: Male


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Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath
< on 1/30/2011 9:45 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
For the last few months I have been wanting to explore the storm drainage system underneath my school (University of Southern California). After scouring the school for possible points of entry, I found a manhole that seemed to my best option.

It was in a good secluded location on a sidewalk and looked like this:


I was sure it gave access to a storm drain because it was right near this:



When I finally popped it open, fully geared and ready to explore, all that was down there was an 8 foot hole with a tiny stream running through the bottom, no access to a large tunnel. I popped two other manholes near by and got he same thing.

So my question is are there certain things to look for that indicate whether or not a manhole gives access to a large tunnel? The manholes I checked were on sidewalks, does that have anything to do with it?

*edited to fix pictures*

[last edit 1/30/2011 9:50 PM by waffle - edited 2 times]

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metawaffle 

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Re: Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath
<Reply # 1 on 1/30/2011 10:16 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I can't speak for there, but here manhole covers are uniform and give nothing away as to what's below. More often than not, they'll open to side pipes and such, too, rather than directly into a large pipe.

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Witek 


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Re: Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath
<Reply # 2 on 1/30/2011 10:23 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Find yourself a map or keep popping and hoping for the best. Eventually you'll find something.

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Re: Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath
<Reply # 3 on 1/30/2011 10:29 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Use Google Earth to go spotting along creeks and other waterways. The largest stuff is where the most water is. Generally pipes leading from a curb drain are 12"-15" diameter. The pipes in the street may go up to 24". The pipes you would rather have would be 6' diameter or larger. Those usually carry creeks through underground. From aerial views, you would look for creeks, find where they stop and start in built up areas.

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waffle 


Location: Los Angeles, CA (University of Southern California)
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Re: Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath
<Reply # 4 on 1/30/2011 10:37 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Thanks for the advice. One other question, the S on the manhole I assume stands for storm drain. I have seen other manholes in streets with a D in the center. The streets are pretty busy and I have gotten a chance to check them yet. Any idea what D might stand for?

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Loki 


Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Re: Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath
<Reply # 5 on 1/30/2011 11:19 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by waffle
Thanks for the advice. One other question, the S on the manhole I assume stands for storm drain. I have seen other manholes in streets with a D in the center. The streets are pretty busy and I have gotten a chance to check them yet. Any idea what D might stand for?


You opened a sewer, S = Sewer in Aus. MD = Main Drain so D would probably be Drain.

But I've seen sewer manholes on storm water drains and the same covers on cable pits and tunnels.

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AnAppleSnail 


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Re: Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath
<Reply # 6 on 1/30/2011 11:37 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Manhole covers are often mislabeled. I think they just use whatever's the right size on the truck. The only way to guess what's under a manhole is to know what's underground near there, and the only way to find out is to pop 'em.

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zero_rollov 


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Re: Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath
<Reply # 7 on 3/4/2011 11:29 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
In most cities I've drained in, it's only the manholes in the middle of an intersection that lead to a junction room with any headroom, and those as often as not only branch off into small "crawl" tunnels. If the mh is in the middle of the block, and especially if it has a storm drain, you likely won't get a walkable tunnel. After years of busted fingers and scraped scalp, I changed my M.O. and looked for the huge "entrances" where the systems culminated and emptied in to creeks or whathaveyou and started there, mapping as I went. Granted, there is the thrill of exiting a street scene via a hole in the ground, but entering a huge cave by a creek and then poking your head out right next to oncoming traffic downtown is pretty cool too!

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Re: Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath
<Reply # 8 on 3/4/2011 11:50 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
You ever see Terminator 2 where they play cat and mouse with motorcycles and a semi truck through the culvert for a LA storm drain? Yeah go find that drain.



[last edit 3/4/2011 11:51 PM by \/adder - edited 1 times]

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Mr_Fiend 


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Re: Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath
<Reply # 9 on 3/5/2011 6:54 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Best advice, dont look for lids, look for outfalls. You could pop a ton of lids before you find a tunnel big enough to walk down. Its a big guessing game unless you have maps or topo maps showing major streams in the area.

I only go around popping lids when I'm bored...

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Therrin 

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Re: Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath
<Reply # 10 on 3/5/2011 10:51 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
TVV had excellent advice. Down in LA you'll see what look like concrete canals running through the city, and there's the "LA River" which is basically a big concrete spillway that leads to the ocean. Hustle up and down those areas and look for the outfalls then follow them back underground.

Althought, UCLA and USC do have large interconnected tunnel systems which run to each of the larger buildings, and have other maintenance and access tunnels connected in a network underground. If you're at USC I'd suggest you look for that stuff as well, while you're there.

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Re: Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath
<Reply # 11 on 3/6/2011 12:28 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Underneath this manhole, located on semi-public property about 50' outside the perimeter fence of a secured & somewhat 'disguised' facility at an undisclosed location, is a stainless-steel hatch -- it's the emergency exit of a semi-'black' US federal government hardened bunker.


218505.jpg (143 kb, 768x512)
click to view




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Re: Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath
<Reply # 12 on 3/6/2011 1:01 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by waffle



Under that is some yummy creme filling.

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Zombi951 


Location: Riverside,Ca
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Re: Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath
<Reply # 13 on 6/21/2011 1:42 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
My point of entry has been big openings thus far and never manhole covers,how do you all get in these manholes do you carry crowbars or what,also I no its a fairly stupid qestion but I just wouldnt want to get caught with a crowbar and lights in my bag plus I no many of these manhole covers are embedded in the ground from years of being run over by traffic

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Loki 


Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Re: Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath
<Reply # 14 on 6/21/2011 3:11 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by Zombi951
My point of entry has been big openings thus far and never manhole covers,how do you all get in these manholes do you carry crowbars or what,also I no its a fairly stupid qestion but I just wouldnt want to get caught with a crowbar and lights in my bag plus I no many of these manhole covers are embedded in the ground from years of being run over by traffic




Or some variant of

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Relocate 


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Re: Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath
<Reply # 15 on 6/21/2011 7:20 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by TheVicariousVadder
You ever see Terminator 2 where they play cat and mouse with motorcycles and a semi truck through the culvert for a LA storm drain? Yeah go find that drain.


http://moviechopsh...minator2still2.jpg




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This one is from a different section of the LA canal systems, but it looks similar...and as you can see, the outfalls are plentiful.

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Re: Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath
<Reply # 16 on 6/21/2011 7:32 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Sorry, I couldn't resist:



Zombi951 


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Re: Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath
<Reply # 17 on 6/22/2011 11:35 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by Loki


https://lh5.google.../s800/IMG_5473.jpg

Or some variant of


thanks for the reply Ill have to try an make one of these

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Loki 


Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Re: Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath
<Reply # 18 on 6/22/2011 11:42 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by Zombi951


thanks for the reply Ill have to try an make one of these


No worries. This fits Gatic brand manholes which are the most common in Melbourne. Have a look at what's in use in you're area and modify the design as required.

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etchleon 


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Re: Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath
<Reply # 19 on 6/22/2011 4:11 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Dunno man, up here the manhole labels mean dick all. You opened a sewer where the stream is for effluent testing.

I usually just wallow thought valleys and rivers to find the in or outfall, or I listen for the flow under a manhole, generally, but not always, ones with a big woooshing sound are storm drains/buried rivers. But sometimes they are trunk sanitary sewers, so proceed with extreme caution and a strong stomach if doing that.

Mississauga/west Toronto has some Canal drains not unlike the terminator ones.

As for opening manholes, I can usually do it with a mallet to loosen em, then just pick em up by sticking my fingers in the holes/slots and lifting...they aint that bloody heavy if you unstick em.

UER Forum > Archived Rookie Forum > Manhole's and Guessing Whats Underneath (Viewed 1800 times)
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