Dobson's Run Relief Sewer
Photos from the Underground
1912 and June 15, 2010

As the Dobson's Run Storm Relief Sewer was nearing completion, I had the chance to walk in the pipe as it neared completion. We were lowered down to the level of the pipe, about 100 feet underground, in a metal elevator cage attached to a crane. Once in the 12.5 foot diameter pipe, we saw the crews at work grouting and doing other finishing work prior to putting the sewer into
service. This project was built completely in tunnel, with the outlet section running underneath Laurel Hill Cemetery into an outfall at the Schuylkill River.

The photographs below show the construction of the original Dobson's Run Sewer from the 1912 Annual Report of the Bureau of Surveys, Department of Public Works. As with the current pipe, parts of this sewer were also done in tunnel.

To view a html slideshow of selected 2010 photographs, click here.

To view a PDF of the 2010 photos, click here.(4.6 mb)

For more background to the project, visit this page on Philly H2O or these two pages on Chris Dougherty's excellent website, Necessity for Ruins.

Three photos showing Dobson's Run sewer construction, 1912.

Contact Adam Levine
Page last modified November 27, 2010

The History of Philadelphia's Watersheds and Sewers

Compiled by Adam Levine
Historical Consultant
Philadelphia Water Department
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