Intro: Exploring the Storm Water Drain System
At the elementary school close to my house, there is a storm water drain outlet. My friends and have gone in there multiple times, and each time is better than the last. We discovered numerous things, some were interesting and some made us fear the drain even more. The system extends for over 1/4 mile, running beneath the school and surrounding neighborhood. You will here me reference this passageway as "the system" multiple times. So bear with me, and let me show you this amazing journey that me, Higgs Boson, and out other friend enjoyed so much. It is amazing what is under your feet, that most people will never know about.
Step 1: What We Discovered
When we were in there, we saw alot of grafity. We didn't pay much attention to most of it, until we saw that there was a hemp leaf spraypainted on the wall, with the words "cash for flame" beneath. Marijuana is illegal were I live, so this is seriously strange activity. My friend and I once tried to go in, but where stopped by a large man with a dog. We ran home. I never expected the tunnels to extend as far as they do, and I certianly never expected to find such strange tunnels. We found round rooms, large and small tunnels alike, and a 2 level drainage area. The ladders going to the manhole covers varied in length from 10 feet to over 25 feet as we went deeper into the tunnel. It was pitch black without the light. Numerous smaller tunnels branch off of the main tunnel, most of them too small to it through.
Step 2: Materials
You need light. Alot of light. We used a heavy duty LED camping flashlight, after we learned that cell phones were not sufficent. As i said on the previous slide, I have witnessed suspicous activity in there so I ALWAYS bring a large knife in there with me. We need jackets because the temperature drops considerably as you enter the tunnels. Later we realized that you could go in with no lights.
Step 3: Map of the System
Here I post a map of the system. (a couple actually.) Some will be more accurate than others.
-the first was made using "Paint" on my computer.
-the one in the notebook was drawn before we ever reached the end. The red that i drew in completed the map.
-the last one is the most accurate, that I just drew.
Step 4: List of the Areas
-I can stand here (I'm 5'6''). This marks the beginning of the system.
-First main room
-Look at next slide
-First tunnel leading off
-A small tunnel leading off right from the main room.
-I have to slightly duck here. There are numerous manholes feeding into this tunnel.
-Dual level room
-Look at next slide.
-Entry to small tunnels
-The tunnel size changes dramatically here. So does the direction of the tunnel.
-The small tunnels are painful for me to go through. I have to kind of crawl-hop.
-Look at next slide. (connects small tunnels)
-Yet more small tunnels.
-The end of the system. A real letdown actually. (look at next slide.)
Step 5: Specific Places
Here I will list some of the specefic places and give you some information.
-First main room
- this room begins right as you enter the system.
-Various manhole covers
- these range in height from 10 feet and under to over 25 feet above you.
-Dual level area
- this area is where a drainage opening (from a road) goes into the water system.
-this room in in the final stretch of the system. the tunnels that feed into it have different elevations.
-the entire system ends is a simple water drainage opening (from a road). It was rather dissapoining.
Step 6: Pictures Part I
Here are the pictures of the entry, the first main room, and the first tunnel leading off.
Step 7: Pictures Part II
Here are pictures of the manhole tunnel and the dual level room.
Step 8: Pictures Part III
The short tunnels kind of suck to go into, so sadly there are no pictures of them or the circular rooms.
Step 9: Now You Do It!
You can do this in any storm water tunnel system near you, that you can fit in of course. Be careful, and always go in with a friend and prepared. Expect the unexpected, and remember, cell phones don't work underground. Be safe, and don't make any stupid decisions.
Step 10: Extra!
I figured I would add this on to the origional instructable. A few days ago, my friend and I went into the tunnel again. When we came back out, I noticed a dead snake in the water. I had no idea what species it was, because of its strange coloration and body shape. I took it out with a stick, only to discover it was a small rattlesnake, with its head cut off (presumably by a human). I found this a bit scary because it is right in a suburban neighborhood, and I have been catching snakes there my entire life. We cut off the rattle, and I took it home. Although you cannot tell the snakes age from the size of its rattle, you can tell that this was a rather young (2-3 years) snake. It definetly makes me want to take a closer look when I catch snakes from now on... (sorry for the terrible picture quality, I took them on my phone, and then photographed my phone with a camera.)