What Lurks Underground? The Sewage Networks We Don’t See

January 14, 2016



Even though we may have all seen the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles living relatively contently down there (Cowabunga dude!), the word sewer does not conjure up visions of a cosy or homely environment, and certainly isn’t seen in the UK as a thing of beauty!

As featured in our blog, The Weirdest Things Ever Found in Drains, an entire community of residents reside beneath Las Vegas, making themselves at home within the flood tunnels.

Surprisingly, this isn’t the only place where this happens. There are many people around the world who are also hidden away beneath the streets.


The Hidden Communities of Romania and Columbia

In Bucharest, Romania, although a city rich with architecture and culture, deep beneath the beautiful streets lives a community amongst the sewerage network. Thought to be within the hundreds, sadly the community mainly consists of orphans, drug addicts and those believed to be outcast from society.

Unfortunately this is also an issue in Columbia’s Bogotá, where many children are thought to live amongst human waste within the drains.



Japan’s Impressive Underground Drainage Architecture

Although it’s important to be aware of such issues within the world around us, sewers don’t have to be a dark and unpleasant place. Japan, a country well known for its beauty and impressive landscape, has a sewer systems to behold!

Its most impressive system is said to be in Saitama, where it is constructed from concrete silos which are 65 metres tall and 32 metres wide, connected by almost 4 miles of underground tunnels, all hidden 50 metres beneath the city. The sewers are that impressive that they are even open for tourists to have a look!


Take a Tour of Paris’ Sewage Drains and Tunnels

Also open for tours is the Parisian sewerage network, designed in the 19th century, these wide tunnels now host a range of museum-like exhibition pieces to educate visitors on the engineering of the sewerage network and the French water and waste systems.

You’ve probably heard of Paris’ catacombs, but this is something else!



Take A Step Back in Time in London

The sewerage network beneath London’s streets is also a grand exhibition of great Victorian engineering. Following the historic issues with the ‘big stink’ and the cholera epidemic, engineer Joseph Bazalgette created a sewerage masterpiece.

Using 318 million bricks Bazalgette and his team created 1,100 miles of street sewers to service the waste disposal of the residents of London, which services a population of around 8 million today.

As you can see there is a vast difference within stories surrounding countries and their sewerage networks, a topic that we UK residents just simply take for granted.

However, taking care of our sewerage systems is essential. Being responsible citizens we need to ensure that we are taking care of our homes’ drainage networks and ensure we are disposing of waste correctly into the sewerage systems.

If you’re interested in what lurks in the sewage drains below your home or you’ve been experiencing underground drainage issues, we can help. Speak to one of our specialist waste removal experts on 01633 277 755 or learn more by reading some of our informative blog posts.


Read more:

Garden Landscaping – Disguising Your Cesspit

Drain Surveys and a New Home: Your Questions Answered

Alternative British ‘Bogs’