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Related to manhole: inspection chamber


1. a shaft with a removable cover that leads down to a sewer or drain
2. a hole, usually with a detachable cover, through which a man can enter a boiler, tank, etc.
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a structure in a sewer network used for inspecting, cleaning, and flushing the sewers.

The manhole usually consists of a work area and, above it, an entrance area, a hatchway, and a lid. There are inspection manholes, drop shafts, and flushing shafts. Among the inspection manholes there are line shafts, built at straight sections of the sewer network; corner shafts, where the line changes direction; juncture shafts, where several lines come together; and control shafts, where the networks draining individual buildings or city blocks join the street network. Drop shafts are built where there is a substantial difference between the levels of the delivery pipes and drain pipes. Flushing shafts are used in flushing out the sediments that form in pipes carrying effluents with a slow rate of flow.

In cross section, manholes are either round or rectangular. They are built predominantly from prefabricated reinforced-concrete rings and panels. Sometimes they are brick.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


An opening to provide access to a tank or boiler, to underground passages, or in a deck or bulkhead of a ship; usually covered with a cast iron or steel plate. Also known as access hole; manhead.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A covered opening in a street which provides access for cleaning and repairing of a sewer beneath, or for repairing a conduit for electric underground piping or electric cables.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Officers have now made the uncovered manhole visible to the public by placing traffic cones and red tape around it."
That system includes more than 266,000 manholes and service boxes and 97,000 miles of cable supplying 2.5 million customers.
The councillor said anyone caught removing manhole covers should be asked to produce the identity card, and the authorities called if he failed to do so.
Three hours later, the baby deer was out of the manhole, safe above ground.
"After waiting for a long time for these missing manhole covers to be replaced, some of the residents in my neighbourhood decided to cover these manholes with makeshift covers fashioned from old furniture pieces and thin planks of wood." One day, while his children were playing, he saw one of their friends walking on a similarly flimsy piece of wood covering a manhole.
Thieves have taken to stealing manhole covers - but maybe the solution is a simple locking mechanism
Since Thomas Edison fired up the city's commercial electric grid in 1882, New Yorkers have had to contend with the random hazards of smoking, flaming and exploding manholes. Many of the blasts result from decrepit wiring, which can lead to sparks.
The police official said municipalities and other concerned authorities must raise awareness of their workers on the dangers involved in cleaning manholes. "Workers must be given masks or other safety equipment to protect their lives while cleaning manholes."
Each barrel of the manhole will then be lowered--one at a time--onto the invert or base level of the manhole.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, recently held a contest open to local artists to design new manhole covers in an effort to improve the city's aesthetic qualities.
Henkels & McCoy has introduced NO ACCESS[R] Manhole Security Device, described as an innovative security invention developed to aid in security issues in the utility, governmental, and commercial markets.