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Legal to place a cache in a stormwater runoff drain?

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I was asked if there was any way to verify that placing or hunting a cache in a stormwater runoff drain is, indeed, legal. There has recently been an article about an individual being arrested for accessing the sewer system through a manhole cover, however a manhole cover does not have to be moved in order to reach the cache.

 

The drain in question has a new concrete liner instead of a limestone and cricket "hole", so (as far as safety goes) it's better than some. And the last I checked, there were NO "no tresspassing" signs at the entrance to the drain.

 

I cannot find a statute (specific to Minnesota) that definitively states whether "investigating" a stormwater runoff drains is or is not legal.

 

I did add a disclaimer to the cache page that states, "To my knowledge, there are no "no tresspassing" signs on the entrance leading to the cache. this does not mean that you are safe from arrest (I cannot specifically find the ordinance that states if it illegal). just because a cache exists doesn't mean you have to find it. as usual, use your own common sense and personal caution when seeking this cache."

 

What do you think?

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I was asked if there was any way to verify that placing or hunting a cache in a stormwater runoff drain is, indeed, legal. There has recently been an article about an individual being arrested for accessing the sewer system through a manhole cover, however a manhole cover does not have to be moved in order to reach the cache.

 

The drain in question has a new concrete liner instead of a limestone and cricket "hole", so (as far as safety goes) it's better than some. And the last I checked, there were NO "no tresspassing" signs at the entrance to the drain.

 

I cannot find a statute (specific to Minnesota) that definitively states whether "investigating" a stormwater runoff drains is or is not legal.

 

I did add a disclaimer to the cache page that states, "To my knowledge, there are no "no tresspassing" signs on the entrance leading to the cache. this does not mean that you are safe from arrest (I cannot specifically find the ordinance that states if it illegal). just because a cache exists doesn't mean you have to find it. as usual, use your own common sense and personal caution when seeking this cache."

 

What do you think?

 

If it is a private drain then you need the permission of the owner.

If it is a public drain then you need permission of the entity in control.

The government doesn't have to post "No Trespassing" any more than a utility company or rail road.

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Of course the question becomes why place a cache in a storm drain even if it is legal? Are people expected to crawl into it to find the cache? I would pass on that one, along with seaching under dumpsters and in garbage piles.

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Even if access is 'legal', and easy enough to get into, and it does not violate any other Groundspeak guidelines - it is still a safety hazard. Enclosed spaces can have less than pure air, runoff can increase rather suddenly, disease concerns, rodents, etc... I know thier are plenty of thrillseekers out there that would hunt it - but why place a cache in an area that is potentially so very hazardous??

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I don't see them as being any worse than an abandoned railroad tunnel, except for the runnoff. The question is permission. There's a local one that proclaims "Yes. I have permission to place this cache." I somehow doubt that the owner of the mall gave explicit permission to place the cache in the storm drain under the road. But I cannot prove otherwise. And I do not plan on crawling through the storm drain to get to the cache. Oh, well.

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I was asked if there was any way to verify that placing or hunting a cache in a stormwater runoff drain is, indeed, legal. There has recently been an article about an individual being arrested for accessing the sewer system through a manhole cover, however a manhole cover does not have to be moved in order to reach the cache.

 

The drain in question has a new concrete liner instead of a limestone and cricket "hole", so (as far as safety goes) it's better than some. And the last I checked, there were NO "no tresspassing" signs at the entrance to the drain.

 

I cannot find a statute (specific to Minnesota) that definitively states whether "investigating" a stormwater runoff drains is or is not legal.

 

I did add a disclaimer to the cache page that states, "To my knowledge, there are no "no tresspassing" signs on the entrance leading to the cache. this does not mean that you are safe from arrest (I cannot specifically find the ordinance that states if it illegal). just because a cache exists doesn't mean you have to find it. as usual, use your own common sense and personal caution when seeking this cache."

 

What do you think?

 

Hey Karen, you're only mistake here is asking the national forums what they think. The only thing you're going to get here is "did you get permission" regardless of the legaility or who owns the drain. I'd leave the cache the way it is and move on. There are many caches around the world that are MUCH more risky than what you've got going on.

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There happen to be numerous caches -- and I have found a few of them myself -- emplaced in storm drains throughout the USA and throughout the world, and most of them bear appropriately high Terrain ratings (and, as needed, appropriately high Difficulty ratings as well...). And, they seem to have created zero or near-zero legal problems. That is a pretty quiesecent issue. However, the internal Groundspeak guidelines regarding such placements have recently been tightened, and, grandfathered storm drain caches aside, if you are contemplating hiding a new cache in a storm drain, you should be aware that many reviewers (but not all) will first ask you for written evidence of pemission.

 

However, caches placed in sewers, that is, in sanitary sewers carrying human and commercial waste, are an entirely different matter, and they -- not that I have ever heard of anyone seriously trying to emplace such a cache -- are strongly discouraged not only by Groundspeak. but also by local municipal authorities, for there are numerous dangers inherent in such placements; a brief, truncated and by no means all-inclusive list of the dangers and other reasons why such placements are unwise follows:

  • sewers contain human waste and commercial/industrial waste, and thus the liquid almost invariably contains numerous toxins and pathogenic microbes, including disease microbes.
  • due to the enclosed space and the formation of gases by anaerobic decay microbes, many areas of many sewers are laden with deadly levels of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas. Unfortunately, with H2S gas, the human nose and olfactory system adapt quickly to the gas, and so, by the time you realize that you are smelling the gas, you are likely going to lose consciousness and pass out (i.e., collapse) within a few seconds; there is almost never time to turn around and make a safe exit.
  • many sewers contain toxic levels of other harmful gases as well, including hydrocarbons and ammonia.
  • the air in the airspace within sewers is almost always laden with large amounts of pathogenic microbes
  • sewers are almost always accessed almost solely via manholes, covered with heavy cast-iron manhole covers. Even highly trained and experienced persons have lost fingers or hands or sufferered other injuries due to mishandling of manhole covers.
  • Due to the dangers listed above, and due to attendant liability issues, and also, in the post-9/11 era, due to concerns about terrorism, municipalities, while they tend to be very casual and relaxed when and if they notice people wandering in their storm drain systems (in fact, many homeless persons in my city and in nearby cities live year-round in some of the larger storm drain tunnels), tend to be extremely aggressive and paranoid about the merest whisper that any outsiders might be accessing their sanitary sewer systems.

In fact, over the past year, several cities in the USA, in well-publicized cases, have actively pursued, apprehended and arrested urban explorers (aka "mousers") who had forayed into their sanitary sewer systems; links to just one very recent story which hit the news media in the past week follow:

 

http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/myfox/pages...mp;pageId=3.2.1

 

http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/myfox/pages...mp;pageId=3.2.1

 

Postscript: When I write about the dangers of sanitary sewer systems, I speak from long experience. I work as a scientific consultant, and one of several areas in which I regularly provide consulting around the world is in the realm of managing toxins, pathogenic microbes and toxic gases in sewage systems. As part and parcel of my job, I have waded -- with, of course, full permission of the system managers -- in raw sewage in sewer lines (i.e., sewer pipes and tunnels), sewage substations and processing plants all across the world, including Florida (state), Louisiana (state), Nicaragua, India and Malaysia.

 

.

Edited by Vinny & Sue Team
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The drain in question by Meralgia is an 8' diameter culvert draining into the Mississippi. It doesn't exceed 120' in length where at the end, it goes straight up to the street above the river. All previous posts are valid, and aside any legal issues, the only risk with this cache is doing it while there's a chance of rain.

Edited by bflentje
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...I cannot find a statute (specific to Minnesota) that definitively states whether "investigating" a stormwater runoff drains is or is not legal....

 

What do you think?

 

Laws come about when there are either advocates for a law, or a problem to solve.

 

In the case of a storm drain unless something has happened there really woulndn't be a reason to have a law about them.

 

However there are truckloads of other laws that could very well apply indireclty.

 

Placing debris on state property. Obstruction of function (not sure what to call that, but you can't hang a sheet over a stop sign and think you are good to go for example). Creating a public hazard. There was a guy in Utah charged with creating a catastrophy. There is no law against having your truck catch on fire and burn to the ground, but when it's full of explosives and the explostion creates a crater...that's when you learn that creating the catastrophy is a problem. If your cache happens to cause debris to wedge and block the drain and that that in turn causes upstream flooding I'm sure there is a law that would apply to the damage caused. Is this a high probability event? Probably not*. Is it a risk you want to assume?

 

I can tell you that when I design a storm drain, caches are not part of the considerations.

 

* A magnetic cache on Corregated Metal Pipe would most likely just be swept out and lost if the drain ever ran full. Something wedged in a crack, hard to say.

Edited by Renegade Knight

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...However, caches placed in sewers, that is, in sanitary sewers ...

 

Something worth pointing out. In the east it's not uncommon for storm and sanitary sewers to be the same system. In the west they are normally two different systems. I am unsure where in the country this trend changes. It could be more a product of the age of the system and since the east is generally older than the west you encounter it more often.

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I'm not sure how this conversation evolved into a conversation about sewers. The topic is entitled, "Legal to place a cache in a stormwater runoff drain?" I did mention a guy being arrested for accessing the sewer through a manhole cover, but to clarify, a stormwater drain is a drain used to remove excess water from the street.

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I'm not sure how this conversation evolved into a conversation about sewers. The topic is entitled, "Legal to place a cache in a stormwater runoff drain?" I did mention a guy being arrested for accessing the sewer through a manhole cover, but to clarify, a stormwater drain is a drain used to remove excess water from the street.

 

Well then, just go with Vinny's post then, but ignore the parts about sanitary sewers. :D Yes, I've seen several storm water runoff drain caches. Not my cup of tea, I probably wouldn't do one. I wasn't aware the reviewers had "tightened up" on them; I doubt very few, if any, have municipal permission. But if Vinny says they're asking for it now, I'd tend to believe that. :D

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The drain in question by Meralgia is an 8' diameter culvert draining into the Mississippi. It doesn't exceed 120' in length where at the end, it goes straight up to the street above the river. All previous posts are valid, and aside any legal issues, the only risk with this cache is doing it while there's a chance of rain.

But debris (including gasoline and oils) also gets swept into such systems and some of it begins to decay and then produce gases that are relitively "trapped" in a confined space. I grant you it is a longshot but the dangers of hazardous gas in a confined space is a very real threat.

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I have one in a large storm water run off pipe it is about .4 of a mile in, and yes I needed permission from the Department of Water and Sewerage services for placement ( there policy ) but sanitary sewers are another story , there is a law on the books that no one can enter them.

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Of course the question becomes why place a cache in a storm drain even if it is legal? Are people expected to crawl into it to find the cache? I would pass on that one, along with seaching under dumpsters and in garbage piles.

 

If you knew the cache in question, you sure wouldn't feel that way. Those of us who have done it list it right on top of our favorites list. It is an awesome adventure, not to be missed!!

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I have one in a large storm water run off pipe it is about .4 of a mile in, and yes I needed permission from the Department of Water and Sewerage services for placement ( there policy )

 

How on earth did you manage to get permission for a cache like that? I am impressed.

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I have one in a large storm water run off pipe it is about .4 of a mile in, and yes I needed permission from the Department of Water and Sewerage services for placement ( there policy )

 

How on earth did you manage to get permission for a cache like that? I am impressed.

 

I know of a couple local ones placed with permission. Same as any other cache, start with the Parks department and see what they say.

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The drain in question by Meralgia is an 8' diameter culvert draining into the Mississippi. It doesn't exceed 120' in length where at the end, it goes straight up to the street above the river. All previous posts are valid, and aside any legal issues, the only risk with this cache is doing it while there's a chance of rain.

But debris (including gasoline and oils) also gets swept into such systems and some of it begins to decay and then produce gases that are relitively "trapped" in a confined space. I grant you it is a longshot but the dangers of hazardous gas in a confined space is a very real threat.

Speaking here as a scientist (please see my notes in my earlier post above for a brief overview of my professional experiences in these realms), I agree with you 100%. Al kinds of debris, and particularly plant matter such as leaves, grasses and twigs, gets washed into storm drains, and it often accumulates in low spots and undergoes anaerobic decay, which can release hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas. And so, there are indeed some storm drain pipes which accumulate lethal levels of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas. Even far more importantly, in some parts of the world, including parts of the USA, hydrogen sulfide gas leaks into the enclosed confined spaces of storm drains from nearby coal seams, nearby abandoned coal mines, and, in areas with significant volcanic activity or magma movement, from underground fissures venting from underground magma hotspots. Due to these reasons, there are numerous instances in which lethal levels of H2S have been found even in storm drains, but the frequency of occurrence is way below that seen in sanitary sewer systems.

 

However, the threat is real, and, to me, this is an important reason why any cacher contemplating hiding a cache or stage in a storm drain needs to consider the placement carefully, and particularly, must avoid placing a cache very deeply inside a storm drain tunnel, particularly if there is restricted or limited flow of fresh air in the deeper parts of the tunnel system.

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I'm not sure how this conversation evolved into a conversation about sewers. The topic is entitled, "Legal to place a cache in a stormwater runoff drain?" I did mention a guy being arrested for accessing the sewer through a manhole cover, but to clarify, a stormwater drain is a drain used to remove excess water from the street.

Because sanitary sewers (and bodily waste in general) is more fun to talk about. Duh.

 

Also I want to emphasise the point that quite a few cities have combined sanitary/storm sewers. I think it's more of a city-age thing than a east/west USA thing. Kansas City, MO, and Chattanooga, TN, USA, have combined sewer systems. During periods of low flow all sewer is treated; when it's raining the sewer bypasses the treatment system and flushes out into the Missouri River. Theoretically someone might try to hide a cache in the normally-dry overflow tubes, but that would be pretty stupid.

 

In the specific case mentioned by the OP it sounds like a pure water runoff, so no problem.

 

So to answer your question, is it legal? If you got permission from whoever owned the pipe, then yes. If not, then probably not.

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The drain in question by Meralgia is an 8' diameter culvert draining into the Mississippi. It doesn't exceed 120' in length where at the end, it goes straight up to the street above the river. All previous posts are valid, and aside any legal issues, the only risk with this cache is doing it while there's a chance of rain.

But debris (including gasoline and oils) also gets swept into such systems and some of it begins to decay and then produce gases that are relitively "trapped" in a confined space. I grant you it is a longshot but the dangers of hazardous gas in a confined space is a very real threat.

Speaking here as a scientist (please see my notes in my earlier post above for a brief overview of my professional experiences in these realms), I agree with you 100%. Al kinds of debris, and particularly plant matter such as leaves, grasses and twigs, gets washed into storm drains, and it often accumulates in low spots and undergoes anaerobic decay, which can release hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas. And so, there are indeed some storm drain pipes which accumulate lethal levels of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas. Even far more importantly, in some parts of the world, including parts of the USA, hydrogen sulfide gas leaks into the enclosed confined spaces of storm drains from nearby coal seams, nearby abandoned coal mines, and, in areas with significant volcanic activity or magma movement, from underground fissures venting from underground magma hotspots. Due to these reasons, there are numerous instances in which lethal levels of H2S have been found even in storm drains, but the frequency of occurrence is way below that seen in sanitary sewer systems.

 

However, the threat is real, and, to me, this is an important reason why any cacher contemplating hiding a cache or stage in a storm drain needs to consider the placement carefully, and particularly, must avoid placing a cache very deeply inside a storm drain tunnel, particularly if there is restricted or limited flow of fresh air in the deeper parts of the tunnel system.

 

Much greater threat in any kind of confined space like storm drains that attract animals (rodents) is hantavirus. Personally, I would not consider a cache like this.

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...and yes I needed permission from the Department of Water and Sewerage services for placement ( there policy)...

 

And here is the answer to the question posed in the OP. Forum concensus should not satisfy the "adequate permission" clause of the TOU. Unless there is specific permission from the municipality to place the cache in/on municipality infrastructure, permission should not be assumed. So a question back to the OP, have you contacted and gained adequate permission from the appropriate municipality?

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The drain in question by Meralgia is an 8' diameter culvert draining into the Mississippi. It doesn't exceed 120' in length where at the end, it goes straight up to the street above the river. All previous posts are valid, and aside any legal issues, the only risk with this cache is doing it while there's a chance of rain.

But debris (including gasoline and oils) also gets swept into such systems and some of it begins to decay and then produce gases that are relitively "trapped" in a confined space. I grant you it is a longshot but the dangers of hazardous gas in a confined space is a very real threat.

Speaking here as a scientist (please see my notes in my earlier post above for a brief overview of my professional experiences in these realms), I agree with you 100%. Al kinds of debris, and particularly plant matter such as leaves, grasses and twigs, gets washed into storm drains, and it often accumulates in low spots and undergoes anaerobic decay, which can release hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas. And so, there are indeed some storm drain pipes which accumulate lethal levels of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas. Even far more importantly, in some parts of the world, including parts of the USA, hydrogen sulfide gas leaks into the enclosed confined spaces of storm drains from nearby coal seams, nearby abandoned coal mines, and, in areas with significant volcanic activity or magma movement, from underground fissures venting from underground magma hotspots. Due to these reasons, there are numerous instances in which lethal levels of H2S have been found even in storm drains, but the frequency of occurrence is way below that seen in sanitary sewer systems.

 

However, the threat is real, and, to me, this is an important reason why any cacher contemplating hiding a cache or stage in a storm drain needs to consider the placement carefully, and particularly, must avoid placing a cache very deeply inside a storm drain tunnel, particularly if there is restricted or limited flow of fresh air in the deeper parts of the tunnel system.

 

Much greater threat in any kind of confined space like storm drains that attract animals (rodents) is hantavirus. Personally, I would not consider a cache like this.

Yes, I agree that rodent-borne hantavirus -- at least in those parts of the country where it is endemic -- and also the plague microbe (Yersina pestis), which is far more widespread in distribution than hantavirus in the USA, would likely often be present in such settings. However, I disagree over the relative importance of this fact. For example, I happen to live in a part of the USA (a mountainous wilderness in western Maryland, in the Appalachians), and numerous studies conduced by CDC and by AAMRID researchers at nearby Fort Detrick have shown that both hantavirus and plague microbe are very commonplace in my immediate region, and, in fact, published studies conducted by some of these researchers have shown that the vast majority of adults living within a four mile radius of my home bear strong titres of antibodies to hantavirus, indicating past infections and relative immunity to new infections.

 

In fact, because of these above-iterated facts and other reasons, I never worry about exposure to microbes such as those responsible for hantavirus, plague, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Babesiosis, Lyme, and a number of other so-called pathogenic microbes which might be found in a storm drain or sewer. In fact, I tend to welcome renewed or repeated exposure to such organisms in sewers (remember, I sometimes enter sewers in the course of my professional work) and storm drains (which I tend to enter for geocaching-related purposes...), because I view such exposures as useful "boosters" for my immune system! :D (No, I am not kidding.)

 

 

.

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Even if access is 'legal', and easy enough to get into, and it does not violate any other Groundspeak guidelines - it is still a safety hazard. Enclosed spaces can have less than pure air, runoff can increase rather suddenly, disease concerns, rodents, etc... I know thier are plenty of thrillseekers out there that would hunt it - but why place a cache in an area that is potentially so very hazardous??

Have you seen the psyco urban caches? GREAT looking series, and I think this, would fall under the same thing if permission is granted, cache at your own risk, and be safe. Common sense and a WARNING on the page...go for it.

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Not sure about MN, but in Virginia it is illegal to place (or cause to be placed) anything other than rainwater into the stormwater system.

 

Uhhhh... isn't that referring to substances such as oil, anti-freeze, or paint thinner? Or is that really referring to geocaches and geocachers as well?

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I was asked if there was any way to verify that placing or hunting a cache in a stormwater runoff drain is, indeed, legal. There has recently been an article about an individual being arrested for accessing the sewer system through a manhole cover, however a manhole cover does not have to be moved in order to reach the cache.

 

The drain in question has a new concrete liner instead of a limestone and cricket "hole", so (as far as safety goes) it's better than some. And the last I checked, there were NO "no tresspassing" signs at the entrance to the drain.

 

I cannot find a statute (specific to Minnesota) that definitively states whether "investigating" a stormwater runoff drains is or is not legal.

 

I did add a disclaimer to the cache page that states, "To my knowledge, there are no "no tresspassing" signs on the entrance leading to the cache. this does not mean that you are safe from arrest (I cannot specifically find the ordinance that states if it illegal). just because a cache exists doesn't mean you have to find it. as usual, use your own common sense and personal caution when seeking this cache."

 

What do you think?

I think it is a lame idea, but I have seen it done

1)I would think you could find a beeter place to send people looking for a cache

2)Some one did that here maybe 18 months ago, the bomb squad got called in when some one notice a cacher returning the cache one day.

Edited by JohnnyVegas

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Not sure about MN, but in Virginia it is illegal to place (or cause to be placed) anything other than rainwater into the stormwater system.

 

Uhhhh... isn't that referring to substances such as oil, anti-freeze, or paint thinner? Or is that really referring to geocaches and geocachers as well?

 

No, many state's water quality standards apply to solid wastes as well, not just soluble or insoluble liquid wastes. Here's applicable sections of Kansas' WQS: "(3) Surface waters shall be free of all discarded solid materials, including trash, garbage, rubbish, offal, grass clippings, discarded building or construction materials, car bodies, tires, wire, and other unwanted or discarded materials...(4) Surface waters shall be free of floating debris, scum, foam, froth, and other floating materials directly or indirectly attributable to artificial sources of pollution." Causing these conditions (or causing them to be created) in waters of the state is not legal.

 

Kudos to M_M for catching this!

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I have one in a large storm water run off pipe it is about .4 of a mile in, and yes I needed permission from the Department of Water and Sewerage services for placement ( there policy )

 

How on earth did you manage to get permission for a cache like that? I am impressed.

 

I try to always ask permission, its usually pretty easy once you find out who to ask, and we all know that some places need it out of common since

 

and thank you

 

Joe

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Not sure about MN, but in Virginia it is illegal to place (or cause to be placed) anything other than rainwater into the stormwater system.

 

Uhhhh... isn't that referring to substances such as oil, anti-freeze, or paint thinner? Or is that really referring to geocaches and geocachers as well?

 

That's probalby an intent vs. wording thing.

The EPA is hammering down on communities and their storm water and in turn the towns are passing more restrictive laws. The purpose is what you are thinking (add in particulate matter that can be suspended in solution in a stream), the wording may catch a cache based on verbage.

Edited by Renegade Knight

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I'm not sure how this conversation evolved into a conversation about sewers. The topic is entitled, "Legal to place a cache in a stormwater runoff drain?" I did mention a guy being arrested for accessing the sewer through a manhole cover, but to clarify, a stormwater drain is a drain used to remove excess water from the street.

 

Because they can be one and the same. The agency I work for likes calling Storm Drains, Storm Sewers.

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I'm not sure how this conversation evolved into a conversation about sewers. The topic is entitled, "Legal to place a cache in a stormwater runoff drain?" I did mention a guy being arrested for accessing the sewer through a manhole cover, but to clarify, a stormwater drain is a drain used to remove excess water from the street.

 

Because they can be one and the same. The agency I work for likes calling Storm Drains, Storm Sewers.

Yes. They are not only co-located services/facilities in some older cities in the USA, but also in a lot of older cities in Europe, and in many cities and towns in Asia, particularly India. And so, throughout the past hundred years, the terms have often been used almost interchangeably, particularly in "street language", that is, "everyday-speak". And that is why I went to the effort, in my initial reply, to explicitly address storm drains and sanitary sewers as separate but somewhat related entities.

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I'm not sure how this conversation evolved into a conversation about sewers. The topic is entitled, "Legal to place a cache in a stormwater runoff drain?" I did mention a guy being arrested for accessing the sewer through a manhole cover, but to clarify, a stormwater drain is a drain used to remove excess water from the street.

 

Because they can be one and the same. The agency I work for likes calling Storm Drains, Storm Sewers.

 

I'd think that a storm drain would be the point where a storm sewer empties out. Not?

 

Incidentally, the storm drain being referenced here (and using my above terminology, it is a storm drain) empties into the Mississippi and our area has taken great pains to clean up the river and avoid polluting the water that gets emptied into it. Of course, that doesn't mean that some meth dealer didn't just flush his chemicals down there, but that can happen in the woods as well.

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...

I'd think that a storm drain would be the point where a storm sewer empties out. Not?...

 

It's just competing termonology. Storm Drain/Storm Sewers are the entire pipe network from the first inlet to the outfall such as this thread is talking about.

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Blah,blah,blah, I work for a municipality with storm drains and at worst I think they might get you on littering. And if you asked anybody in control of the ditch, basin, culvert, swail or what have you their responce would probably only pertain to blockage/clogging. I say cache on!

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If I was in the position of having to decide if one of these gets published I would want to see proof of permission. Confirmable with contact information. I suspect that it would be hard to get. Liability issues and the lawyers who make their living off of them being what they are. If you get caught in one without permission don't be surprised when they charge you with trespassing, or hold you for evaluation. :)

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Blah,blah,blah, I work for a municipality with storm drains and at worst I think they might get you on littering. And if you asked anybody in control of the ditch, basin, culvert, swail or what have you their responce would probably only pertain to blockage/clogging. I say cache on!

Unfortunately, you don't know what you are talking about. In our municipality, it is a $2,500 fine per occurrence with up to 30 days in jail. It's not considered "just littering". I know for a fact that that would not be the response in our municipality.

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I was asked if there was any way to verify that placing or hunting a cache in a stormwater runoff drain is, indeed, legal.

 

I'm not a lawyer, so doesn't that make it illegal for me to give legal advice?

 

Apart from the Federal Clean Water Act, which is really more of an environmental regulation, I would guess that this would be more of a state/local legal issue...but I could be wrong.

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I have cached in a storm drain.

I didn't get arrested.

I didn't get hantavirus.

I wasn't suffocated by volcanic gasses.

The container was a micro...not likely to block a six foot pipe.

It was a little spooky, and a little smelly.

Overall, quite fun!

 

In the end, your local laws certainly must apply.

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There's one near my house that I have to get, but am not sure what way to go after it. It's about a 4' diameter pipe that involves a crawl of about 100' or so from one end, or squeezing through grill work at the other end, which seems to be skinnier than me. You can see it here:

GC1EH0M

There are pix, but what they don't show is that there would need to be a really big rain storm before the water got high enough to start running off.

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Of course the question becomes why place a cache in a storm drain even if it is legal? Are people expected to crawl into it to find the cache? I would pass on that one, along with seaching under dumpsters and in garbage piles.

Then you'll have to pass on one of the most famous and celebrated of all adventure caches. Anyone who has done it, and it's predecessor, would probably state it's a lot different than searching dumpsters and garbage piles.

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I have cached in a storm drain.

I didn't get arrested.

I didn't get hantavirus.

I wasn't suffocated by volcanic gasses.

The container was a micro...not likely to block a six foot pipe.

It was a little spooky, and a little smelly.

Overall, quite fun!

 

 

AMEN to that!

 

I've done a couple of these and they were a real gas.

 

Sounds like most in this thread have never tasted a stolen watermelon. <_<

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:(

I was asked if there was any way to verify that placing or hunting a cache in a stormwater runoff drain is, indeed, legal. There has recently been an article about an individual being arrested for accessing the sewer system through a manhole cover, however a manhole cover does not have to be moved in order to reach the cache.

 

The drain in question has a new concrete liner instead of a limestone and cricket "hole", so (as far as safety goes) it's better than some. And the last I checked, there were NO "no tresspassing" signs at the entrance to the drain.

 

I cannot find a statute (specific to Minnesota) that definitively states whether "investigating" a stormwater runoff drains is or is not legal.

 

I did add a disclaimer to the cache page that states, "To my knowledge, there are no "no tresspassing" signs on the entrance leading to the cache. this does not mean that you are safe from arrest (I cannot specifically find the ordinance that states if it illegal). just because a cache exists doesn't mean you have to find it. as usual, use your own common sense and personal caution when seeking this cache."

 

What do you think?

 

If it is a private drain then you need the permission of the owner.

If it is a public drain then you need permission of the entity in control.

The government doesn't have to post "No Trespassing" any more than a utility company or rail road.

 

I would avoid any location that would put a person at risk. Storm drains, highway right-of-ways, cliffs, riverbanks, <_< anywhere within 150 feet of Railroad Right-of-ways etc. are not a good idea. An issue with storm drains is that the ice melts, water flows at high velocity in a confined space that would make rescue difficult. There may be an implied liability for the person placing the cache in such a location as an "attractive nuisance". Remember that public utilities and owners of infrastructure are not required to place no trespassing signs in order to protect their assets. My grandad once said that "the thing about common sense is that it is not too common". Let's all be as smart as the GPS. Cheers.

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:(

I was asked if there was any way to verify that placing or hunting a cache in a stormwater runoff drain is, indeed, legal. There has recently been an article about an individual being arrested for accessing the sewer system through a manhole cover, however a manhole cover does not have to be moved in order to reach the cache.

 

The drain in question has a new concrete liner instead of a limestone and cricket "hole", so (as far as safety goes) it's better than some. And the last I checked, there were NO "no tresspassing" signs at the entrance to the drain.

 

I cannot find a statute (specific to Minnesota) that definitively states whether "investigating" a stormwater runoff drains is or is not legal.

 

I did add a disclaimer to the cache page that states, "To my knowledge, there are no "no tresspassing" signs on the entrance leading to the cache. this does not mean that you are safe from arrest (I cannot specifically find the ordinance that states if it illegal). just because a cache exists doesn't mean you have to find it. as usual, use your own common sense and personal caution when seeking this cache."

 

What do you think?

 

If it is a private drain then you need the permission of the owner.

If it is a public drain then you need permission of the entity in control.

The government doesn't have to post "No Trespassing" any more than a utility company or rail road.

 

I would avoid any location that would put a person at risk. Storm drains, highway right-of-ways, cliffs, riverbanks, <_< anywhere within 150 feet of Railroad Right-of-ways etc. are not a good idea. An issue with storm drains is that the ice melts, water flows at high velocity in a confined space that would make rescue difficult. There may be an implied liability for the person placing the cache in such a location as an "attractive nuisance". Remember that public utilities and owners of infrastructure are not required to place no trespassing signs in order to protect their assets. My grandad once said that "the thing about common sense is that it is not too common". Let's all be as smart as the GPS. Cheers.

On first reading, I could not understand why this post seemed so naive, simple-minded and addle-brained, as if had been authored by someone with an IQ of about five, but then it occurred to me to check on the poster. Of course, it turns out to be a troll post authored by a troll sock puppet account, created yesterday, and with zero finds and zero hides. sigh....!

 

.

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19 hours ago, Carter43 said:

Well if it’s a eight foot wide pipe they’re probably expecting large amounts of water 

 

8 foot pipes were all the rage in 2009, but now we are using 10 footers.

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From an OSHA information page...

 

Quote

 

Hazards Associated with Sewer Systems

 

Sewer systems can present a host of confined space hazards, including:

• Atmospheric hazards (low oxygen, toxic or flammable gases).

• Chemicals in piping and from roadway runoff (may harm lungs, skin, or eyes).

• Engulfment and drowning.

• Electrocution (e.g., using electrical equipment in wet working conditions).

• Slips, trips, and falls.

• Falling objects.

• High noise levels, low visibility, limits to communication, and long distances to exits.

 

Personal protective equipment:

Employers should assess the work site to determine what personal protective equipment (PPE) is needed to protect workers. Employers should provide workers with the required PPE and proper training on its use and about any related hazards before the work starts.

 


 

 

I've had confined spaces training. Even if it is legal to place a cache in a storm drain, I won't be going in after it.

 

 

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There's a much later thread, but for some reason can't find it.

Always confusion when folks speak of storm drains/water runoffs as sewer systems, most by location I think.

Water runoff not the same as hazardous waste.  You might get your feet wet in a storm drain...   

We've done a few in, or passing through storm drains/water runoff tunnels, and all had permission (we were with COs on a couple). 

Anything out of the ordinary like that, I sure would ask too.     :)  

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