Paris is lucky in having a superb museum dedicated to its sewers. What is more, it is located above live sewers so you can savour the authentic aroma while exploring their history. Tours of the system started in 1889 when a boat could be taken along some of the largest stretches. Twice monthly trips from Place de la Concorde were on offer up until the 1970s!
Today’s museum details the history and operation of the system, originally developed by Hugues Aubriot in the 14th century. Today’s sytem was designed by French engineer Eugène Belgrand. There is also information on water treatment. The Paris system is unusual in that parts of the sewer network carry the fresh water supply in pipes suspended above the sewers. These usually comprose two separate networks - part is fullly treated and used for drinking water and the second used (for example) for flushing the street gullies.