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The Paris sewer system

Visit the Paris sewer system
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This is an offbeat underground tour: the Paris sewers, built in the 19th century, can be visited all year round by the Pont de l’Alma.

Fancy a walk well off the beaten track in the French capital? This tour will show you the underside of Paris from Ancient times through to the era of Belgrand, the 19th-century engineer who designed the sewer system in its current form. In the underground tunnels you will learn about the water cycle and all the work of the Paris sewer workers.


See the picture gallery



Ancient history

The streets of Paris were first paved in around 1200 by King Philippe Auguste. In the middle of the paving he had drainage gutters installed. In 1370, a vaulted walled sewer was built on Rue Montmartre, leading to the Ménilmontant stream.
The network was developed very slowly over the centuries. In 1850, with the arrival of Baron Haussmann, Prefect of the Seine, and engineer Eugène Belgrand, the sewer system was created and the water supply to Paris was assured.

A double water network and a sewer network

A double water supply network (drinking and non-drinking water) and a sewer system (which reached a length of 600 km in 1878) were built.
Belgrand’s successors completed and developed the Parisian network, which now has 2,400 km of tunnels.

All this history is retraced, along with the various sewerage techniques and improvements to water quality, from the period of Lutetia to present-day Paris.

For each era you will discover:
- how Paris evolved
- the principles of drinking water supply
- the sewerage techniques
- Paris’ ecological scorecard.
The public visit is in the sewerage system itself, which has been converted for the purpose and is secure.

The tour

The tour lasts about an hour and goes through the tunnels of part of the sewer network. A large number of models or actual machines used are on display in all the rooms and corridors of the tour circuit.
You will see a "sewer wagon" for sewer treatment, a "sewer boat" which operates in the waste collectors, as well as a former condensate pump.
Visitors may take photos or film the site.

Practical information

Sewer tour
Pont de l'Alma, left bank,
Opposite 93 quai d'Orsay 75007 Paris
Tel.: 00 33 1 53 68 27 81

Metro Line 9 - station: Alma-Marceau (cross the bridge)
RER C - station: Pont de l'Alma
Bus Line 80 or 63 - station: Alma-Marceau
Saturday to Wednesday from 11 am to 4 pm, from 1/10 to 30/04.
Saturday to Wednesday from 11 am to 5 pm, from 1/05 to 30/09.
Closed on Thursdays and Fridays.

Normal: €4.30

Discounted: €3.50 (for groups or 10 or more, students, and children aged between 6 and 16).
€2.30 for children on school trips (primary or secondary schools).
Guided tours:

Groups of 10 or more can request a guided tour. They must book beforehand by sending an email to the following address:

Disabled access: as there is no lift on site, access is only possible for visitors who can walk down and back up the 42 steps which lead to the sewers. 

Bookings are not required for individual visitors.


Visitez les égouts de Paris par mairiedeparis



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