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Interesting Trivia: What is the Function of Patterns on Manhole Covers?



 Walking on the streets of Taipei and looking at the manhole covers resembling badges on the road, I'm sure many of you have been curious...

“Why do these covers have different patterns and designs?”

“Hmm, why are they raised and not flat?”


Originally, many manhole covers were smooth iron plates, serving the main purpose of “covering underground pipelines to prevent accidents or odors.” With the passing of time, there has been an increased focus on pedestrian and vehicular safety, leading to the addition of various pattern designs #ToEnhanceGrip. These patterns and inscriptions also aid in distinguishing the functions of different manhole covers related to rainwater and sewage, while showcasing the unique characteristics of the local area.


#LetMeShare Taipei City's 3 Classic Rainwater Manhole Cover Pattern Designs

  • In the pre-1980s, the rainwater manhole cover designs and shapes in Taipei City were similar to those of Japanese cities such as Tokyo and Kyoto. They generally featured a geometric design with concentric circles and radiating lines centered around the city emblem.
  • In the 1990s, the center of manhole covers continued to use the city emblem adopted in 1996, and this emblem has been in use on rainwater manhole covers as the second batch of systematically manufactured and installed manhole covers to this day.
  • In 2003, there was an attempt to integrate local characteristics and break away from the monotonous appearance of manhole covers. This initiative introduced symbols such as the “city flower (azalea),” “city bird (Taiwan blue magpie),” and “Formosan swallowtail butterfly,” giving the manhole covers fresh and distinctive looks.


Hydraulics Engineering Office, Taipei City Government

Stormwater Drainage Engineering Section


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😍 If you capture photos of the “Taipei Manhole Covers,” don’t forget to share them on IG @taipeiheo!

  • Taipei HEO’s official Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/taipeiheo/
     Learn more about the history of manhole covers: [https://reurl.cc/p5GkGQ](https://reurl.cc/p5GkGQ). 
  •  Learn more about the “Taipei Manhole Covers” here: [https://reurl.cc/E1M4zK](https://reurl.cc/E1M4zK).