Hamilton Kent Blog

The real impact of failed manhole covers

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The numbers are staggering.


In April, a local newspaper in Canal Winchester, Ohio reported that a single failure in the city’s sewer system resulted in almost 1 million extra gallons of water being pumped through one of its stations every day.


The failure was a broken manhole cover in a nearby peat bog, which had become overgrown with vegetation and was tough to access. City officials discovered the leak after a severe rainstorm, when they realized the city was pumping 3 million gallons a day instead of its standard 1 or 2 million.


“We found that gap was letting in 700,000 to 800,000 gallons of water a day,” the city’s water reclamation manager, Steve Smith, recalled in The Canal Winchester Times story.


This story really caught our attention here at Hamilton Kent. Sometimes we feel like a broken record, repeating the negative effects of failed manhole frame systems over and over again.


But when you consider it takes approximately 1000 kilowatt hours (kWh) to convey and treat 1 million gallons of water, and that each kWh pushes about a pound of CO2 into our skies, you can see that infrastructure problems can have serious environmental consequences.


And considering that up to 50% of the extraneous water that enters sanitary collection systems does so through the top of the manhole, you can see how the situation described here is illustrative of the wider impact a single manhole frame failure can have.


Of course, it would be remiss of us not to say that the risk of having to remediate failed manhole covers or frames can be reduced by investing in high-quality materials from the start.


If you’re interested in learning more about this, check out our patented Lifespan System, which is a watertight, corrosion-proof, rubber manhole frame and locking lid system that prevents rain-derived inflow from entering sanitary sewers through the top of the manhole.


Don’t let one bad manhole reduce the effectiveness of your sewer system! Watch this video webinar to find out more about common sources of inflow and infiltration in sewer systems and to see how we make bad manholes good.


Photo: Archival Image / Hamilton Kent