Does a noisy manhole bother you but you don’t know what to do?

How can I report a noisy manhole cover?

If you need to report a noisy manhole, you can follow these steps:

1. Contact the competent authority

First identify whether it is a public or private manhole.

If the manhole is private, it may be a condo property. In this case, if it is on condominial property, contact the building manager directly.

If, on the other hand, the manhole is on public land, you need to identify the authority or company (municipality, telephone network operator, gas company, etc.) responsible for installing or maintaining the manhole. You can find this information by contacting the municipal office.

2. Report by phone or e-mail:

Once you have identified the relevant authority, contact the responsible office by phone or e-mail. Explain the problem clearly, specifying that you have noticed a noisy manhole and provide all relevant information about its location.

If the manhole noise is a sign of an immediate risk to road safety, mark the problem as urgent during your report to the authorities. This may speed up the resolution process.

When reporting, provide precise details on the location of the noisy manhole, such as the exact address or surrounding landmarks, to facilitate timely intervention by the competent authorities. If possible, document the situation with photos or videos. This can be useful as visual evidence for the authorities and make it easier to solve the problem. Also check on your municipality’s website if there is a form for this type of report available and downloadable.

How to soundproof a noisy manhole cover?

To silence a noisy manhole without authorisation could be risky and is generally not recommended, as it could have negative consequences on road safety or the integrity of the structure. The best solution is therefore always to report the noisy manhole to the competent authorities (municipality, condo administrator, gas or electricity network operator that owns the manhole).

However, if you have permission to silence a manhole or the manhole is your property, we recommend that you follow this guide to choose the best NOISE-STOP® product for you.
As NOISE-STOP® fits between the cover and the frame of the manhole and fits perfectly on both surfaces, it significantly reduces the tilting of the cover that causes the annoying noise.

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Why do manhole covers make noise?

In order to solve the problem of a noisy manhole, it is essential to identify the specific cause, but the reasons may be different:

  1. Usage and damage:

Over time, manholes can suffer Usage and damage due to vehicular traffic, weather conditions and other environmental factors. This causes manhole parts to loosen or deform, generating noise as vehicles pass by.

  1. Absence of maintenance:

Manhole covers require regular maintenance to ensure their integrity and safety. Lack of maintenance can lead to problems such as loose joints, broken or worn parts, contributing to noise.

  1. Corrosion:

Corrosion is a common problem for metal manholes, especially if they are exposed to aggressive weather conditions or corrosive substances such as road salt. Corrosion can weaken the manhole structure, causing noise when it is stressed.

  1. Inadequate design:

Sometimes, manhole noise can be attributed to inadequate design. For example, poorly designed joints or supports can cause creaking or metallic noises.

NOISE-STOP® can be the ideal solution: it fits between the cover and the manhole frame and adapts to the two surfaces, reducing tilting. NOISE-STOP® is available in different variants, designed to respond to different degrees of deterioration, defect and corrosion.

Is there a danger if manholes make noise?

Generally, noisy manhole covers, although annoying, do not represent an immediate danger to public safety on their own. However, this depends on the cause of the noise, which may be a sign of possible structural or maintenance problems.

These problems, if neglected, could lead to dangerous situations such as: accidents, flooding, risk to pedestrians.

A badly positioned or damaged manhole cover can create a sinkhole or depression in the road, creating a hazard for cars that could hit it and be damaged.

It is therefore important to promptly address noise from manholes and report it to the relevant authorities for proper inspection and maintenance.

Who is responsible for the maintenance and repair of manhole covers?

Responsibility for manhole covers may vary depending on the context and their location. In general, the municipality is responsible for the maintenance and repair of manhole covers on public roads. Since manholes are an integral part of the urban infrastructure, they fall under the responsibility of the local road service or public works department.

The municipality is responsible for ensuring that manholes are safe, functional and meet road safety standards. This includes the management of any necessary repairs, replacement of damaged parts and general maintenance to prevent dangerous situations for vehicles and pedestrians.

However, it is important to note that in some specific contexts, manholes may be privately owned. For example, they might be located inside apartment blocks or in private areas. In these cases, the responsibility for maintenance and repair lies with the private owner or building manager, unless there are different agreements defined beforehand.

How long does it usually take the City Service to solve the problem of a noisy manhole cover?

The timing may vary, but in general, City Services try to intervene as quickly as possible once a report is received. The timing depends on the severity of the problem and the resources available.

What to do if the municipality does not act?

If you have reported a noisy manhole to the municipality and nothing has been done, it is understandable to feel rather frustrated. In these situations, several measures can be taken to try to speed up action and solve the problem.

  • Solicitation:

After reporting the problem to the municipality, it is advisable to send a reminder. You could draft a cordial letter or email asking for the status of the action and reiterating the importance of resolving the problem. Explain clearly that the manhole noise continues to be annoying and potentially dangerous.

  • Reminder:

In the event that the reminder does not lead to a response or action on the part of the municipality, you could consider sending a cease and desist letter. The warning is a formal act that emphasises your intention to take legal action if the problem is not resolved within a certain period. Be sure to consult a lawyer or use appropriate legal templates to ensure that the notice is formally correct.

  • Legal action:

In extreme cases, if despite previous actions you do not get a satisfactory response, you may consider the option of approaching a lawyer to take legal action against the municipality. Before taking this route, make sure that you have documented all your interactions with the municipality, including the reports, reminders and warnings sent.

It is important to emphasise that legal action should only be considered as a last resort, as it can be a complex and expensive process. Most disputes can be resolved through communication and cooperation.

Alternatively, if you have the authorisation to do so, you can soundproof the manhole cover yourself, using NOISE-STOP®. It fits between the cover and the frame of the manhole cover, adapting to the two surfaces, reducing tilting. NOISE-STOP® is available in different versions, useful for soundproofing manhole covers with different degrees of usage, defect and corrosion.

Don’t have authorisation? You can always recommend NOISE-STOP® to your local authority: it is a quick and practical solution.

Can I soundproof a manhole in privately?

Generally, the management of manhole covers is the responsibility of local authorities. However, if the manhole is your property, you can consult a professional to assess the feasibility of applying soundproofing solutions safely and effectively.

Alternatively, while waiting for the maintenance service to fix the problem, and the manhole is your property, you can take benefit of our NOISE-STOP® products to soundproof the manhole yourself.

NOISE-STOP® is available in several versions, depending on the shape, size, usage of the manhole and traffic intensity of the street where it is located.

Please follow this guide to choose the best NOISE-STOP® product for you.

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