Drain in Trechtinghausen (Germany)


My very first drain ! In July 1999 we spent a short family holiday in Germany and I was able to find and visit some drains, without even looking for them!

We stayed in a small town (Trechtinghausen) on the banks of the Rhine. In this hilly area many brooks flow down the slopes down to the river. In many places they pass through villages and under houses and streets. Sometimes they are only 50m but some might be several hundreds of meters, especially those under the villages of Bacharach and Kaub.

Many small pipes emerge into them from the ceiling. Maybe they are used as sewers, but I found no traces of excrement, so these pipes probably only carry rain-water. So these are real drains.

The brook "Trechtinghauser Bach" emerges in the hills at a height of 480m. It flows downhill through romantic woods down to the river at 100m. Upon entering the town it is regulated and it flows through a 50cm steel pipe. Under the main road this pipe emerges in a real drain.

Here you're looking upstream into the steel pipe. This is the upper end of the drain.

I took an evening stroll up the main road and I heard water flowing under my feet. Following the sound of the water under manholes I found the lower entrance near the river. I went in for a few meters, got very excited and quickly walked to my car to get my camera, helmet and flashlight.

Then I entered my first drain and enjoyed every second of it. Only the rubber boots were missing.

Here you follow the course of the water downstream. The drain was high enough to stand upright, but it got lower and lower as you went downstream. With the flashlight it looks bright, but in fact it was very dark. I was glad I put my helmet on my head, because of the unexpected horizontal pipe. I bumped into it really hard.

The air was quite good. Only a strong smell of old, standing water. No algae, the stones were not slippery at all.

Through a very low arch you entered on open section of the drain. I had to crouch at this point. The local children were surprised and amused to see me emerge. "Are you a journalist?" they asked, and "What's so special about our drain?"
At the end of the open section the brook flows under the road and the railroad. This looks like a short drain. A local person stroed his wheelbarrow and empty wine bottles in this space. Probably the brook never overflows in the summer.

The river Rhine flows behind the bushes at the other side of the railway. This point is at 535,5 km from the source of the Rhine.

After this discovery I found these drains in every village we visited.


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2000 Petr Kazil - Updated 12 February 2000