What Types of Utilities Are Manhole Covers Used For

We live in a very complicated world from an infrastructure perspective.  Most people don’t even think about the amount of money, manhours, equipment,etc..that went into getting water or electricity or any of our other utilities.  Well, there are a lot of utilities out there that need constant maintenance so we’re able to exist in a comfortable home, much of that maintenance is accessed by personnel through manholes.  The most common type is sewer, sewer manholes are very well known but many others exist as well.

As mentioned before, sewers have many manholes, which means many manhole covers.  These are generally buried pretty far beneath the ground and they are pretty large diameter pipes because they need to carry a large amount of fluid but they’re not pressurized.  Manholes are important because they can allow access to the pipes in case of issues but they also allow venting.  These are also on many septic systems, especially those with multiple chambers for pumps and storage.

There are also electrical manholes.  These generally depend significantly on geographic locations.  Some areas have nearly all electric utilities above ground with very few buried parts, which means few manholes.  Other areas are many buried lines and electrical equipment with large underground vaults containing the equipment.  Similar utilities such as fiberoptics and telecommunications lines can exist in the same format as well.

Manhole access is also very common with large storage tanks for chemicals, oil, refined petroleum products and various other things.  These tanks need constant maintenance and cleaning, which requires personnel access.  All refineries have shut down periods where the entire facility ceases normal operations for maintenance and cleaning by hand.

While Hollywood has helped imprint in our minds how common sewer manholes are; many other ones exist too.  These could range from fire suppression systems to grease traps to ground water monitoring and so forth.  However they are very common and appear in more areas than we could ever imagine.  

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