A Field Guide to New York City Manhole Covers


Early Brooklyn Sewer

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When Brooklyn was too polite to say SEWER.

The engineers of the City of Brooklyn were fairly advanced in their approach to sewer design, forming two systems in many low-lying locations, one for residential and industrial waste, and one for draining the streets from rain and snow. The two systems were carefully marked and SANI TARY and STORM covers are often found close to each other.


The honeycomb pattern was inherited from earlier "BWS Drain" covers with the new twist of having one letter in each hexagon


Probably made by the Public Works Department around the time of consolidation. (1898).


The honeycomb design is seen throughout New York, but especially in Brooklyn. This cover was on Coney Island Ave. near Manor Ct. The SANI TARY and STORM covers are found in low lying areas such as DUMBO and along the south shore of Brooklyn.

Related Images Follow

Don Burmeister -- Photographs