'Threw me': Couple's bizarre find in driveway

·News Reporter
·2-min read

A married couple have made an astonishing discovery in the driveway of their home, two years after buying it and moving in. 

Allyson and Ian Tanzer purchased their five acre property, in the US state of Washington, in 2019, but only this week discovered there was a removable metal plate on their driveway. 

Unable to ignore their curiosity, the couple set out one evening to determine what the metal plate was covering, documenting the process in a post to a popular group on Facebook. 

Mrs Tanzer explained that it wasn't uncommon to find obscure discarded items left behind by the home's previous owners, but said the discovery of a manhole had "threw me".

Metal cover of the manhole.
The couple discovered this bizarre manhole cover on their driveway after two years. Source: Facebook

Her initial inspection attempts failed because of the weight of the plate, but one night she sought the help of Mr Tanzer, who helped lift it up and take a photo of underneath. 

The dark photo revealed a sizeable shaft beneath the ground, but the couple were still desperate to find out what its use was, and even more so, why they hadn't been made aware of it. 

Further investigations the following day revealed the shaft was housing an active water main servicing the nearby neighbourhood. 

"The pipe is especially significant as we are not piped to city water and operate using a well," Mrs Tanzer wrote. 

The manhole was covering a shaft with steps down to a large water main pipe. Source: Facebook
The manhole was covering a shaft with steps down to a large water main pipe. Source: Facebook

She added they had "no idea what the implications of such a thing are". 

In a further update to her post, she revealed they had been in touch with the company behind the manhole, which "failed to call out a rather significant easement that runs the length of our driveway and under our garage". 

Couple urged to contact a lawyer

Photos added later showed a "pipe explorer" man who entered the shaft because he was "tickled" at the couple's astonishment. 

He was able to assure the couple the water main posed no threat to their health. 

Still, there were questions surrounding why they were never told of the shaft or water main beneath it, with some urging them to seek legal advice in comments to the post. 

"Your title company should have found this! Contact a lawyer and get your title and easements fixed. You may have a sticky situation on your hands," one person wrote. 

Others warned of the dangers of entering an enclosure beneath a manhole, as there could be a build-up of dangerous gasses.

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