Sewer Cops

In keeping with this month’s inadvertent and unintentional “poop” theme… there’s an interesting article in the (Saint Paul) Pioneer Press today, on the “waste technicians” – or “sewer cops”, if you must – who monitor the hundreds of miles of sewers beneath the Twin Cities area. It’s an interesting look at a big part of the urban landscape that goes largely overlooked – except by urban explorers, anyway.

The most surprising thing they have found?


St. Paul’s oldest sewer tunnels were built in the 1870s. Some of them are 15 feet tall, with arched ceilings — underground hallways lined with tiles of granite.

The worst smells, she said, are from sewers by hospitals; she isn’t sure why.

The most surprising smells?

Sewer cops become accustomed to the foulest odors imaginable. Stinky becomes normal.

But when they check the sewers under plants making Softsoap or Aveda products, it smells — ewwwww! — good enough to wash your hair in. It just doesn’t seem right.

I wonder if the local rats around those plants have sleeker, glossier fur, as well? 🙂

Published in: Geekiness, General, Urban Exploration | on June 8th, 2009| Comments Off on Sewer Cops

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