Call 911
Call 911 to report an unprotected street opening that could cause an accident.

You can report a problem with a manhole cover.

You can report a missing manhole cover on a street or highway.

This applies to all manholes, including manholes owned by:

  • DEP
  • The Fire Department
  • Verizon
  • Con Edison
  • The Metropolitan Transportation Agency
  • National Grid

What Happens Next

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will inspect within 4 hours.

Roosevelt Island

The City does not respond to manhole cover problems on Roosevelt Island. You can report the problem directly by phone.

  • Agency: Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation
  • Phone Number: (212) 832-4540
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM

You can report manhole covers that are:

  • Sunken
  • Raised
  • Damaged
  • Making noise on a City street

What Happens Next

The Department of Transportation (DOT) determines which agency or utility owns the manhole cover, such as the Department of Environmental Protection, Con Edison, or Verizon. DOT then refers the defective manhole cover to that agency or utility for repair. DOT is not responsible for repairing manhole covers. 

Information about the agency or utility responsible for the reported manhole cover will be available within 10 days of submitting a Service Request.

Steam rising from a sewer manhole is a natural occurrence, especially in the winter. Steam is caused by water falling on a steam pipe or manhole cover, or a steam leak.

Unaddressed leaks from the steam system could endanger public safety. To avoid potential injury, do not walk through the steam or on the manhole cover.

You can report steam or smoke coming from manholes to Con Edison.

  • Agency: Con Edison
  • Phone Number: (800) 752-6633
  • Business Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
  • Staff is available through the automated phone system at all times. Automated assistance is also available in Spanish. Most languages are available through staff.

Catch Basin

A catch basin is a part of a storm drain or sewer system which is designed to trap debris so that it cannot enter the drainage pipes.


A culvert is a drain or pipe that allows water to flow under a road, railroad, trail, or similar obstruction.


A manhole is the top opening to an underground utility vault used to house an access point for making connections or performing maintenance on underground and buried public utility and other services including sewers, telephone, electricity, storm drains and gas.

Manhole Cover

A manhole cover is a removable plate forming the lid over the opening of a manhole, to prevent anyone or anything from falling in, and to keep out unauthorized persons and material.


A sewer is a pipe under the ground for carrying away water and waste.

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