Fantastic Tales of Avalon City
’Yeah, I see ’em down here all the time — some of ’em as big as rabbits, sweartaGod. Just ask some’a the other guys if you don’t believe me.
The big-brains down at headquarters say they’ll always run from my light and I shouldn’t worry about it, but don’t none’a them come down here. I keep askin’ permission to carry a pistol, but they won’t let me.
‘The rats ain’t the worst, really. I’ve run into all kinds of things down here — snakes, snapping turtles, even a couple things I’m pretty sure were alligators. All those stories about gators in the sewers ain’t just urban myths. Hell, there were some kids that pulled an adult gator out of the sewers way back sometime in the ‘thirties — you can look it up, it was in the papers.’
—Sanitation Engineer Pete Grummond
The Avalon City Sanitation Commission maintains hundreds of miles of sewer and stormwater lines throughout the city. In addition to the standard lines that run along the streets at a depth of around eight to twelve feet below the surface, larger intercepting sewer lines collect the runoff and channel it to one of the dozen sewage treatment plants located around the city. Some treated sewage is disposed of, some sold as fertilizer or for other purposes.
Typically sewer lines are constructed so that they slope just enough for gravity to do the work of moving the liquid through them at a speed of at least two feet per second, but in a few places the city has installed pumps or other devices to keep the system working smoothly. And it does work well; despite the city’s coastal location, it rarely suffers any flooding.
In addition to sewer lines currently in use, there are miles of much older, now abandoned lines hidden beneath the surface and rarely indicated on any map. Some have become residences for animals or homeless people, others serve as lairs for criminals or vigilantes, but most simply remain sealed up and ignored.