Manholes are round doorways into the City’s water, stormwater, and sanitary sewers. The City’s water & sewer crews access manholes to inspect and maintain the pipes that carry water, stormwater and wastewater. Sewer crews rarely enter the manhole – inspections are done from the top, using cameras to inspect the pipes. Water crews do enter their manholes to perform maintenance work.
A cast iron lid covers manholes. City manholes are marked “COV” or “City of Vancouver”. Private utility companies like BC Hydro, Telus, and Shaw use separate manholes marked with their own company name to access their underground utility lines.
Water valves and valve covers
Valves control the flow of water through the City’s network of pipes, meters, and hydrants.
Valves are located several feet below ground level, and are accessed through a valve box.
The box is covered with a rectangular, heavy metal lid, which can be seen on road surfaces, sidewalks, and boulevards. Valve lids are marked with “VWW” for Vancouver Water Works.
Water service shut-off valve covers or caps
Water service shut-off valves control the flow of water to properties, and can turn off water along a water service line if repairs are required.
Like valve lids, service shut-off valve covers, also known as valve caps, are marked with “VWW” for Vancouver Water Works.