Ooozing Spot on a Street in Sudden Valley

(scroll to the right to see the three fotos) [an error occurred while processing this directive]
Why is the street warm enough to melt about 4-inches of fresh snow?

broad view of intersection with manhole cover - snow melted!
The downhill side of this sanitary sewer manhole has a slick, wet spot on the pavement -- just about the shape of the melted area. Hmmmmmm.

mid-range view of manhole cover - wet pavement
A close-up shot shows that the wetness appears at the outer ring of the asphalt fill around the manhole frame.
It's not difficult to believe that the warm liquid is coming onto the pavement from the manhole.
The mysteries are: What is it? -- and Why is it there?

closeup view of wet pavement at manhole cover
Do YOU want to hazard a guess what that warm liquid is?

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updated 2002.03.18 mgb