New York City’s sewer system: So many mysteries, so little time to explore them. Thank goodness the New York Times breaks it down for us. See, the city just got two awesome new sewage trucks, each with a 30-foot hose, that can vacuum up to three tons of debris and sediment daily. Yay. In other news, i.e., things you never knew about sewers and probably didn’t really want to know:
7,400 miles of sewer lines rush more than 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater a day to 14 treatment plants. “Wastewater” is human waste from flushed toilets, food scraps from dishwashing machines, all that water from the shower you and roughly eight million of your neighbors took this morning
Sewer workers have found jewelry, murder weapons, glass eyes and bulkier items of mysterious origin, including tires, mattresses and, once, a paddle boat from Van Cortlandt Lake in the Bronx.
People are always trying to shove their cars, and boat parts, and metal spikes/rusty spoons down this thing!
Also, there are lots of rats. Per Chris Laudando, a superintendent for the city’s Department of Environmental Protection, “I’ve seen rodents, raccoons. All sorts of furry creatures. No alligators.”
In conclusion: It smells.
The smell from the open manhole was vaguely, almost sweetly, foul; no one odor was detectable, but the odor was there nonetheless.