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An essay on the effect of acqueducts in ancient Rome A basic fact of life humansneed water to survive Therefore it is not surprising that water has played animportant role in history All of the ancient civilizations including Rome had to dealwith the problem of a steady water supply Romes solutions had both positive andnegative results At first glance one would think that Roae would have no problemsupplying water to her people After all the city was built on a river Why wouldwater have to be brought into the city There were several reasons first of all riverwater is not known for its cleanliness It may do for irrigation but not for drinkingDrinking water would either have be drawn up from wells or brought in to the citiesfrom pure sources in the mountains However digging wells enough for several tenthousand people is not practical as wells need to be spaced far apart Thus the needfor aqueducts Bringing water in from the mountains was no simple matter Theeasiest method of transporting water was gravity feed via a sloped channel or pipeHowever there were hills and valleys which must be crossed The Roman engineersused a variety of techniques to overcome these obstacles First the rate of descent forthe channel must be determined Using geometry and trigonometry this is a relativelysimple problem of triangulation Vetruvius said that each channel must be leveledwith a fall of not less than half a foot in 100 feet These calculations indicate that theRomans had sufficient mathematical knowledge to undertake the aqueduct programsas well as engineering expertise Since the channel for the water must go in a straightline then the next problem was where to put the line The placement would have totake into account the changes in elevation along the course of the channel TheRomans took a course of compromise in their construction they tunneled through hillsand raised the channel on arches through valleys Once the water reached the city itemptied into
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