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Going back as far as the Roman times, in ancient Rome Man has started using stone to protect drain covers.
The layman term for drain cover (grate) is manhole cover. Say "manhole cover" and pictures of spies/ http://pyramidsmt.com/members/kjellerup48cassidy/activity/284993/ using the underground sewage system popping out of manhole cover in Hollywood films appear.
Historically ever since Man invented the sewage system since the Roman Times to drain water and urban waste away for sanitation purposes, manhole covers (drain covers or grates as we would prefer to call them) have bee