Egg-shaped section of sewer

Sewer section 3/4 view on a white background. Close-up shot showing egg- shaped sewer section on a white background.

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Sewer section 3/4 view on a white background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Close-up shot showing egg- shaped sewer section on a white background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Egg-shaped section of ceramic sewer pipe. Installed in Manchester city centre around 1847.

As Manchester expanded and more and more land was built on, preventing water from naturally soaking into the ground, the question of how to drain the city’s streets became increasingly important. In the early 1800s Manchester started to build one of the earliest sewerage systems in the country but the flat-bottomed sewers were easily blocked. In the middle of the nineteenth century, engineers designed egg-shaped sewer pipes like this. The shape was supposed to help prevent blockages. This all helped to get rainwater off the streets but was not designed to deal with the problem of human waste.

Details

Category:
Water Supply & Sanitation
Object Number:
Y1988.65.2
type:
sewer section