Why in the North water pipes are not buried, but stretched above the ground

Norilsk, Vorkuta, Dudinka… In these and other polar cities, guests from the “mainland” are inevitably surprised by water communications. They are not buried in the ground (as everywhere else), but laid above its surface. What a strange solution?.. 

Why in the North water pipes are not buried, but stretched above the ground

typical high-rise building of the North

Norilsk is a relatively large city with about 200 thousand people. It has wide streets with two lanes separated by a central gap. But unlike ordinary avenues, between the sides of the streets there are not footpaths at all, but multi-tiered pipelines. Below are cold and hot water communications, above them is a thick channel that serves as a support for electrical cables. 

Why in the North water pipes are not buried, but stretched above the ground

a typical five-story building in Salekhard

 Why are water pipes not buried in the North, but stretched above the ground? -na-severe-vodjanye-truby-ne-zaryvajut-a-protjagivajut-nad-zemlej-c6fe69c.jpg

that's why such stairs large to the entrance

 Why are water pipes not buried in the North, but stretched above the ground

they are often covered with aprons – concrete or metal

In places of pedestrian crossings, such structures intricately bend upwards, forming arches for the passage of people. On the outskirts of Norilsk and in small northern cities, the pipelines are simpler. They are usually laid on the side of highways, but also on top of the ground. Sometimes you can find pipelines laid in concrete trays, covered with slabs from above. In Central Russia, you will not find this, since almost all communications are laid underground. 

Dudinka's above-ground heating mains attract polar bears, who come to warm themselves.

 Why are water pipes not buried in the North, but stretched above the ground

bear and heating main

The bizarre appearance of polar cities with an abundance of external pipes is due to only one factor, whose name is permafrost. And it's not even that it's hard to dig it: for this you have to first thaw the ground, or diligently hammer it with jackhammers. The thing is that heating communications have a positive temperature. And since heating in the North is required almost all year round, buried pipes would constantly thaw the permafrost. 

Why are water pipes not buried in the North, but stretched above the ground

such pile houses are found throughout the North

The main rule of northern architects: you can not climb into the ground and warm the permafrost! The first high-rise buildings built in the North before the war (in violation of this rule) collapsed and collapsed. Their warm cellars thawed the ground and the buildings “floated”. As a result, the buildings first cracked, and then totally collapsed. A warm underground heating main causes approximately the same effect, the nearest road or even a building can become a victim. 

In Pevek, Chukotka, heating mains are packed in wooden or concrete boxes, in winter they rise above snowdrifts, thaw and serve as pedestrian tracks.

author of the photo: macos.livejournal.com

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