[Tagging] Stormwater outlet into stream

Jonathon Rossi jono at jonorossi.com
Thu Sep 20 04:01:42 UTC 2018

Thanks everyone. Apologies in advance for the long reply.

@Graeme I see you tagged the node with
man_made=drain_outlet+substance=rainwater. In your example it makes sense
to map the underground pipe because you know exactly where it is, but I'd
hate for these to start rendering in the future and bits of incomplete
pipes (a few metres long) start showing up drawing over streets.

The wiki for man_made=pipeline
<https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:man_made%3Dpipeline> says it is
meant for "major" pipelines, which these aren't really apply:

By using pipeline are we abusing that tag? Dictionary.com's definition of
pipeline also indicates that a network of pipes isn't a pipeline. I too
don't view the reticulated water network of pipes a pipeline, however there
would generally be a pipeline going from a water treatment plant to a water
reservoir/storage tank; and in the same way the network of sewerage drains
aren't a pipeline, but you could have a pressurised or gravity pipeline to
move sewage to a treatment plant.

Mark's suggestion to use man_made=sewer didn't sound right to me because I
always view sewers as for wastewater which must go to a treatment plant
before entering waterways. Dictionary.com seems to agree, the values for
manhole=* <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:manhole> also agree, this
OSM tagging proposal also agrees
however Wikipedia seems to indicate some people refer to stormwater drains
as sewers too, this might be a location thing because I found some
indication that some cities have a combined waste and rain water drain
(these obviously won't directly connect to a waterway).
substance=rainwater;sewage works though.

There is 158 uses of man_made=storm_drain (99% of them on nodes), and most
in North Lakes (just north of Brisbane, Australia), however they've used
that tag rather than manhole=drain. It isn't exactly wrong that they used
that tag on the surface grate because the drain is technically there too,
just as it is at the outlet. (Off topic: but that residential estate is so
well mapped; every tree, lightpole, drain, kerb, driveway, bit of grass all
mapped, looks so great rendered!

I think there is no need to use man_made=drain_outlet because the outlet is
just part of the drain (the smaller ones generally have no extra concrete
to hold earth back), so just use man_made=drain on the node or map a way
(which can join to the waterway=*), however I'd use manhole=drain for
grates on the road surface because they also act as manholes providing
access into the drain. I know some of the large stormwater drains also have
barriers  inside to prevent humans entering, they could be mapped as nodes
on the way too.

I've mapped pump stations for the reticulated water network before (because
they are usually small buildings or fenced off equipment on the surface)
but not the underground pipes, I do see value in mapping the pipelines
especially when they are visible (e.g. passing next to a bridge over a
creek) but wouldn't map the underground network around streets as you'd
have no idea where it went.

If I went with man_made=drain, at what point would one of those drains be
big enough to be a man_made=pipeline? Is a big drain flowing into a big
river (e.g. Brisbane River) that you could stand up inside a pipeline?
Maybe yes, maybe no.

Is a pipeline for delivering a substance, while a drain for taking a
substance away? Is that a distinction that even needs to be made?

On Thu, Sep 20, 2018 at 8:04 AM Graeme Fitzpatrick <graemefitz1 at gmail.com>

> Thanks Tijmin & Andrew - name deleted! :-) Thought it should have
> something to explain the open space between 2 houses:
> https://www.google.com/maps/@-28.0775238,153.4261968,3a,75y,192.84h,72.02t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1spFpy3s9A1cXKkiPow16w2Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656,
> but having now read the "No name" policy can see that's wrong. Have also
> changed the node & pipeline details.
> On Wed, 19 Sep 2018 at 17:34, Jonathon Rossi <jono at jonorossi.com> wrote:
>> I don't quite understand the way extending to the north in your example
>> tagged just man_made=yes and surface=grass, is that the underground pipe
>> joining to the rest of the network?
> That's it - there's a surface drain & manholes on the street, with the
> visible pipe going into the lake, so I marked the pipeline in back to the
> street. As above, I've ow changed the tagging so that the pipeline is
> marked through the easement, with an outlet at the lake edge.
>> Thinking about how this would apply to other waterways I've mapped, I
>> currently map the streams or drains that pass under roads which rainwater
>> passes through like below, these are quite similar but with a completely
>> different tagging scheme.
>> waterway=drain or stream
>> tunnel=culvert
>> layer=-1
>> Do we use waterway=* where it is a naturally occurring stream but humans
>> earthfilled the location with a concrete culvert and put a road over the
>> top but that is still part of the earth's waterways of the creek system.
>> Can't be true because waterway=drain is for man made waterways.
> That's the way I've always done it as well! To my mind, a stream running
> through a culvert is still a natural waterway that we've put a lid over -
> if it was a man-made dug out channel, that would make it a drain.
> This tagging also appears valid for a big stormwater drain where you can
>> walk into it:
>> waterway=drain
>> tunnel=flooded
> I'd *strongly* recommend that you don't try walking into tunnels that are
> flooded! - you're going to get very wet & the consequences could be bad :-)
> As usual each time I post on the mailing list it opens a can of worms and
>> I learn too much about all the different possible tags :).
> Welcome to the Club - at least it's not just me! :-)
> Thanks
> Graeme
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