The River Des Peres Drainage Works began life as the River Des Peres, a small river running through what was once considered the suburbs of St. Louis. As a result of continued growth and development during the late 1800s, the River Des Peres became a repository for wastewater and refuse and was channeled underground through a wooden timber canal. The canal was replaced in the early 1900s with massive underground concrete structures, which are in place today.
The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District enlisted Oates Associates to investigate sections of the River Des Peres Drainage Works. The segments of sewer tunnels investigated flow under Forest Park in the City of St. Louis and are approximately 32,400 feet in length. The primary objectives of the investigation were to determine failure areas and identify sanitary connections to the storm side of the dual tubes for possible future separation. The existing conditions were reported back to MSD along with recommended repairs and the associated costs. The project scope and schedule were extended to include an additional investigation of connecting laterals.