Mule Speed Storm Drain Cover Observations

Traveling the land at 3 mph with my mules, I’m noticing things I’ve overlooked my whole life. Like how, west of Jasper, Indiana, many of the cast iron storm drain covers are humped up, not flat, like back East. They’re the same way here in Missouri.

I’m sure Cracker is thinking, “I can tell we’re in the mid-West now because the storm drains are bowed upward.” (outside Jasper, Indiana)

Have you noticed that humped-up thing about the storm drain covers too? What’s up with that? And just where does the dividing line between up-y and down-y run? Pop me an email with your thoughts right here. Or just leave a comment. Together, we’ll get to the bottom of this.

I’ll be sure to share your musings with Cracker and Brick.

Where we’re waiting out the rain

Speaking of storm drains, this weekend we’re camped out in a La Plata, Missouri, horse pasture waiting for the sun to run the rain away. It’s rained 5 inches in the last 24 hours. Hopefully tomorrow, Monday, we’ll be able to head toward Trenton, Missouri.

A soaking wet La Plata. We’re camped just outside of town in Greg and Laurie Love’s pasture.
Road closed due to flooding: Jalopy Lane, just over the fence from where we’re camped.
Brick takes a grazing break for a sip of pond water. The mules aren’t drinking much these days. The rain has made the grass so wet, they get most of their moisture from what they’re eating.

Thanks Greg and Laurie Love for letting us sit out this spell of rain in your pasture (and providing us with hamburgers and ground corn while we’re there). This sure beats sloshing up the highway from thunderstorm to thunderstorm. Good luck getting your soy beans planted!

Okay, now hit me with your storm drain thoughts.

6 Responses to Mule Speed Storm Drain Cover Observations

  • Just my kind of pondering!!

    I think this variety here does a better job handling water coming OUT of the storm drain, like when there’s a gully washer uphill. With a flat manhole cover, enough back pressure from water will pop the flat washer-shaped lid right out of its frame.

    With an “outie” storm drain, the water pressure is lower overall, because there’s already pressure relief system in place if the water lever pushes above ground level. With additional pressure, more holes, and of course gravity is going to assist in letting the water out as low as possible. So in otherwords, if there’s water squirting out of all the holes, all the way to the top, THEN maybe the whole storm drain cover will pop. Whereas the flat cover will pop with much less pressure.

    Also, maybe the “outie” “catches” incoming water better than a flat cover, where the water might just roll over the top and keep going downhill.

    Hope you find out the answer!


    • Christian,
      I’m lovin’ the engineering angle.
      I’m seeing the following winding up in the cabin sink:
      – sink full of water
      – upside down strainer
      – fly swatter
      – hand full of leaves
      Do you see where this is going?
      For storm conditions, a thumb over the cranked up garden hose.
      We may be on to something.
      Hope you get some rain.
      Drain in Peace,

  • Well I think it’s all about leaves. Flat covers get plugged up quickly, but the humpies keep on flowing. Roof scuppers are always humped up for that reason. Beyond that I’m stumped!

    • Howdy Todd.
      I figured it was all about the leaf clog factor, too. Then I realized I was finding all these “uppies” west of where the prairie started, ie, less to no trees. Hmmmm… They do make a lot of sense to me. I’ve never seen one back East.
      My 2 theories:
      1) clog factor
      2) a hungry “uppie” storm cover salesman!
      Happy pondering.

  • Well I did a bit of research. The shape is called Beehive. They can be round or square as Lind as they are a raised configuration. They serve two purposes.
    1) Drain water from all directions
    2) Drain water in areas where debris tends to collect

  • Someone made a huge mistake at the foundry, and the foreman said,”What the hell are we gonna do now”, and a small voice from the back of the lunchroom said,”We could always……” and the secret remains forever.

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