BUSS: Sewage Overflow #11
Hazard Level: 9
|Main Tunnel Clearance: 4-5'?||Tidal Coverage: Yes||Known # of Tunnels: 4|
|Hazards: Head Injury; Tidal; Biological Waste; Gases; Fast Current; Slippery Surfaces; Encounters; Falling|
|Construction Materials: Cement, Brick, PVC|
For a Bangor drain, this one is very extensive and has yet to be fully explored and mapped by us. The risk of being caught while entering/leaving this drain is high. The entrance is withen thirty feet of a Federal Building's security guard post, and withen easy view of the Police station on the other side of the stream. Despite the risks of getting caught, it is a great drain to explore. One of Bangor's best.
This is a tidal drain, meaning that outflow end of the drain will be underwater at high tide. At low tide the entrance is easy to spot from the foot bridge or the path on the other side of the stream.
whats inside?...this could get a bit confusing...
Unless otherwise noted, all known tunnels are large enough to stand up in... but only if you happen to be a squaty, hunch-backed, bow legged ape-like creature...
Now, onto the meaty bits...
Drain #11 starts off with a section of cement pipe (the main tunnel) that goes for about thirty or forty feet to a rectangular manhole room with a side tunnel on the left and the main tunnel continueing on. The main tunnel goes on for about twenty or so feet before coming to another manhole room, this one is round, with a side tunnel on the left. The main tunnel goes just a little ways further before turning to a brick lined tunnel.. the brick lined main tunnel keeps going for a while then begins to make a wide turn to the left, then straitens out for a short distance before making a another wide turn, this time to the right. By this point at least two or three manholes have went by overhead. Somewhere in this area is the furthest that our agents have explored. Here is Agent Wally's acount of this section of tunnel:
"...at the S bend I started noticing scraps of toilet paper and then feces. I came to a spot at what seemed to be the end of the S bend... there was a small pipe, maybe 6 to 10 inch diameter, high on the right side wall. On wall to the left was a HUGE splattering of crap and toilet paper shreds. I turned back cause I didn't know when the pipe would erupt again and didn't want it to be while I was passing by"
We've since explored a bit past that. the tunnel straitened out after a while and inclined at a somewhat steeped grade, then leveled off continueing strait for as far as our lights would shine. We esitmate that we almost made it to the end of Curve Street.
Now, back to the first manhole room and into the side tunnel. This tunnel is also made of cement, but seems much cleaner than the main tunnel. It also seems to go on for ever. This is a great place to turn off your light and walk in the darkness. The tunnel will eventualy come to a junction/manhole room with two side tunnels on the right wall. The tunnel continues on but at a 45 degree angle to the right on the opposite wall. This section goes for maybe a couple hundred feet then comes to another manhole room. At this manhole room, the tunnel turns about 45 degrees to the left and continues strait for a while then begins to make a gradual turn to the right. Near the end of this turn, the water begins to deepen until it fills half to a quarter of the tunnel. An aboveground referance point for this area is the manhole at the intersection of Kenduskeg Ave and Harlow st. The curved deep water section of tunnel eventualy ends at the bottom of a steeply inclining section of tunnel which follows under Kenduskeag ave to the top of the hill, then levels off. Sometime after it levels off at the top of the hill, there is a strange area where roots have come into the tunnel and built up into huge masses that look like they could come alive and devoure small animals. We stopped and turned back somewhere just after that area because we had forgotten to bring drinking water, and we now seemed to be in a line with more sewage flowing through. It had been a while since we had past a manhole cover of any sort and our lights revealed nothing of the sort ahead of us. running into a pocket of methane and other gases was what we were most worried about in this section.
Going back to the first junction/manhole room in the first branch and taking a look at the two side passages... Some of the times we have been in here there has been a very bad smell which seemed to come from these two side tunnels, but other times it had the same sort of smell as the rest of the drain. One of the side passages sits directly atop the other, about three to five feet apart, and both are large enough to crawl into and turn around. Looking into the lower one we could see that it went in purhaps five feet before going strait up and into the side tunnel directly above it. The upper side tunnel goes in about eight to ten feet. About halfway through there is a hole in the floor of the tunnel that goes down to the lower side tunnel. At the other end of the upper side tunnel is another manhole room. In this one the manhole is fairly close above. This room is at the right end of a long smallish tunnel, smaller than the others we have found in this drain. The tunnel seems to run parallel to the second tunnel section of the first branch from the main tunnel. The water in here does not run out of the room through the tunnel between here and the first branch, instead it flows under a large metal plate on one wall and can be heard falling for some distance a short ways past that. We did not venture far into this section of tunnel as it was a fairly small pipe and we suspect that it is likely to be sewage (dark grey water) and the water was fairly deep at the time.
Back into the main tunnel and up to the next branch... This cement tunnel is in rather poor condition. Our agents avoided this side passage on earlier expeditions into the PO Drain because it looked like it could collapse. Several feet into the side passage there is a hole in the ceiling with several large pieces of jagged rebar protruding at odd angles, the floor below is littered with rubble from the slight collapse. In our opinion, this is the more interesting tunnels in the PO Drain. There is no water running through this tunnel but it is very damp, not like the other tunnels in PO Drain which had dry walls with a stream of water in the middle.. this one was just damp, with areas of yellow and white fungus resembling sea fans growing flat on the walls. The tunnel seemed to slope in the wrong direction for water to flow out from it. In one section there are small, three to five inch diameter pipes pointing down but not protruding from the ceiling. Several hundred feet in the tunnel is completely collapsed. Just a couple feet in front of the cave in, a PVC/plastic pipe crosses the tunnel, filling about half of it.
During the summer of 2000, two of our agents, Wally and Mac, made an expedition into Drain #11 with the intent to fully explore the area past the flooded section in the first side passage. They did not make it far, Wally explains: "We went in to see if we could find an end to the first branch but water in the tunnels was high and the current was fast. It was humid in the long section of the first branch, the walls were sweating, and it almost looked like there was fog. We could hardly breath because the air fealt so thick. We decided to turn around and head back out after going just a short distance up the first section"
|Photo of the entrance to PO Drain at low tide.|
|Photo of the first section of the bricklined main tunnel.|
|Photo of part of the cave in at the end of the second branch.||Photo of the bricked up end of the second branch.|
|Photo of a crack in the tunnel section junctures. The concrete sections seem to be lined in brick.||Photo of the cave in again, this time from the other direction.|
|Photo of Wally going down the second branch.||Photo of one of the metal pipes sticking down in the second branch.|
|Photo of the first damaged area of the second branch.||Photo of the brick lined main tunnel, again.|
|Photo taken in one of the curved sections of the same.||Photo of metal reenforcements in the brick tunnel.|
|Photo looking out of the runoff tunnel in the 1st room of the 1st branch||Photo of the flow control obstruction in the runoff room|
|Photo of Wally trying to catch fish near the end of the deep water section||Photo of Wally making making his way through the root-clogged section|
|Photo of the root-clogged section without Wally||Photo that really bothered us. This sort of thing does not need to happen. Please do not put bricks down the toilet.|
|Arial Photo with the drain mapped in red.|