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Typical concrete manhole in details autocad drawings

 What is the Purpose of a Manhole?

We often get asked about the purpose of manholes and the uses of manholes. And the answer is, that there are many functions of manholes when it comes to sewer or stormwater systems. The four main purposes of a manhole are:

  1. To facilitate inspections of the sewer or stormwater system as well as maintenance projects such as cleaning or removal of obstructions within the sewer or stormwater line
  2. To assist in ventilation of the sewage system by allowing gases to escape
  3. To allow the municipality to join sewer or stormwater systems, change the direction of the sewer or stormwater system, or align the sewer or stormwater system
  4. To assist in ensuring the sewer or stormwater line is laid in convenient lengths

Common Manhole Locations

Manhole locations vary, however, due to their primary functions they are typically located in the below areas:

Where there is a junction of two sewer or stormwater lines (or more)
At locations where the sewer or stormwater line changes sizes
In situations where the sewer or stormwater line alignment changes
When the grade of the sewer or stormwater line changes

Manholes are also periodically placed along the sewer or stormwater line for easy maintenance access. This placement varies depending on the diameter of the sewer or stormwater system in question.

The Different Types of Manholes

Manholes typically fall into one of three categories, which are shallow, normal, and deep. The type of manhole chosen for a specific area depends on both the size of the sewer or stormwater line as well as the function that the manhole is supposed to serve.

Shallow Manholes

Also known as inspection chambers, shallow manholes are only approximately two to three feet deep. They are typically located at the start of a sewer or storm water branch and are placed in areas that are not heavily trafficked.

Normal Manholes

These types of manholes are typically about 150 centimeters or five feet deep. They are located in the sewer or storm water line and include a heavy manhole cover that is typically square or rectangular in shape.

Deep Manholes

Any manhole deeper than 150 centimeters is considered a deep manhole. These manholes incorporate a method for entry, such as a built-in ladder, always incorporate a heavy manhole cover.

download manhole details in autocad format

concrete manhole

Typical concrete manhole


Typical concrete manhole in details autocad drawings

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