Trench Covers

Drains should be properly designed and maintained to minimise the health and environmental risks. However, it requires an expert to design and construct drainage systems that ensure the guide of the water flow. The drainage system is not supposed to create problems for other communities.  In a construction project, civil engineers are in charge of drainage systems. These days, there is a body of drainage laws for one to abide by when installing or altering the drainage system.

A good drainage system consists of components such as closed ditches with pipe drains, drainage pipes, channels and conduits. Hence it is essential to look out for these components when installing a drainage system.

There should be adequate access to the drainage system. Many people have a terrible habit of flushing down their wet wipes and sanitary products down the toilet bowl. This caused blockages to occur and is one of the leading cause of blockages.

Installing a utility hole is vital to allow maintenance access even though it might cost money. Not having access might lead to severe problems in the future. It also helps to install rodding eyes at critical points as a drainage engineer can clear a blockage in minutes rather than hours or days. All these issues result in the higher risk of obstructions, as well as pipe subsidence and cracking. Poorly fitted utility holes also allow debris to enter the drain lines, increasing the risk of blockages.

Given that anything can be turned into a hobby in Japan, some people have also taken interest towards drain covers. There are manhoru mania (English: manhole fans), drainspotters, trench hole enthusiasts and drain covers collectors. The internet is not lacking information on attractive lids and images of beautiful manhole covers.

Of course, there are foreigners interested in drain covers too, and made drainspotting a hobby. Drainspotters view manhole covers as art pieces. The current UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is famously known as an avid drainspotter. He frequently takes photos of drain covers and shares it online. He is committed to study the inscriptions of drain cover around the United Kingdom and see them as integral pieces to understand the social history of Britain.

Astoundingly, the art of collecting drain covers has been popular since 1869 when Londoners started to collect coal-hole covers like they were collecting art pieces. Famous art dealer and curator Victor Musgrave also curated a series of cast-iron trench covers in his Soho gallery in 1962. Given its high utilitarian function, these iron covers were astoundingly decorative in the Victorian era, and it was seen as an integral piece of the architecture of that period.

For example, in Arundel Gardens at Notting Hill, one would find a coal cover marked by flower patterns. Another evidence of an earlier day decorative coal cover could be located in Bloomsbury, and the coal covers have a fleur-de-lies (English: Flower Lily) illustration. Many coal covers were imprinted with geometric purposes then.

In cities like Seattle, New York City, Tokyo, artists have been commissioned to design manhole covers.