Page:EB1911 - Volume 02.djvu/258

This page has been validated.
244
AQUEDUCT

century. It has ten arches, remarkable for the elegance of their design and the airy lightness of their proportions, each over 66 ft. in span, and about 300 ft. in height.

The aqueduct of Pyrgos, near Constantinople, is a remarkable example of works of this class carried out in the later times of the Roman empire, and consisted of two branches. From this circumstance it was called Egri Kemer Constantinople. (“the Crooked Aqueduct”), to distinguish it from the Long Aqueduct, situated near the source of the waters. One of the branches extends 670 ft. in length, and is 106 ft. in height at the deepest part. It is composed of three tiers of arches, those in each row increasing in width from the bottom to the top—an arrangement very properly introduced with the view of saving materials without diminishing the strength of the work. The two upper rows consisted of arches of semicircles, the lower of Gothic arches; and this circumstance leads to the belief that the date of the structure is about the 10th century. The breadth of the building at the base was 21 ft., and it diminished with a regular batter on each side to the top, where it was only 11 ft. The base also was protected by strong buttresses or counterforts, erected against each of the pillars. The other branch of the aqueduct was 300 ft. long, and consisted of twelve semicircular arches. This aqueduct serves to convey to Constantinople the waters of the valley of Belgrad, one of the principal sources from which the city is supplied. These are situated on the heights of Mount Haemus, the extremity of the Balkan Mountains, which overhangs the Black Sea. The water rises about 15 m. from the city, and between 3 and 4 m. west of the village of Belgrad, in three sources, which run in three deep and very confined valleys. These unite a little below the village, and then are collected into a large reservoir. After flowing a mile or two from this reservoir, the waters are augmented by two other streams, and conveyed by a channel of stone to the Crooked Aqueduct. From this they are conveyed to another which is the Long Aqueduct; and then, with various accessions, into a third, termed the Aqueduct of Justinian. From this they enter a vaulted conduit, which skirts the hills on the left side of the valley, and crosses a broad valley 2 m. below the Aqueduct of Justinian, by means of an aqueduct, with two tiers of arches of a very beautiful construction. The conduit then proceeds onward in a circuitous route, till it reaches the reservoir of Egri Kapu, situated just without and on the walls of the city. From this the water is conducted to the various quarters of the city, and also to the reservoir of St Sophia, which supplies the seraglio of the grand signior. The Long Aqueduct (Usun Kemer) is more imposing by its extent than the Crooked one, but is far inferior in the regularity of design and disposition of the materials. It is evidently a work of the Turks. It consists of two tiers of arches, the lower being forty-eight in number, and the upper fifty. The whole length was about 2200 ft., and the height 80 ft. The aqueduct of Justinian (Muallak Kemer or “Hanging Aqueduct”) is without doubt one of the finest monuments which remain to us of the middle ages. It consists of two tiers of large pointed arches, pierced transversely. Those of the lower story have 55 ft. of span, the upper ones 40 ft. The piers are supported by strong buttresses, and at different heights they have little arches passing through them laterally, which relieve the deadness of the solid pillar. The length of this aqueduct is 720 ft. and the height 108 ft. This aqueduct has been attributed both to Constantine I. and to Justinian, the latter being perhaps the more probable.

Besides the waters of Belgrad, Constantinople was supplied from several other principal sources, one of which took its rise on the heights of the same mountains, 3 or 4 m. east of Belgrad. This was conveyed in a similar manner by an arched channel elevated, when it was necessary, on aqueduct bridges, till it reached the northern parts of the city. It was in the course of this aqueduct that the contrivance of the souterasi or hydraulic obelisks, described by Andréossy (on his voyage to the Black Sea, the account of the Thracian Bosporus), was constructed, which excited some attention, as being an improvement on the method of conducting water by aqueduct bridges. “The souterasi,” says Andréossy, “are masses of masonry, having generally the form of a truncated pyramid or an Egyptian obelisk. To form a conduit with souterasi, we choose sources of water, the level of which is several feet higher than the reservoir by which it is to be distributed over the city. We bring the water from its sources in subterranean canals, slightly declining until we come to the borders of a valley or broken ground. We there raise on each side a souterasi, to which we adapt vertically leaden pipes of determinate diameters, placed parallel to the two opposite sides of the building. These pipes are disjoined at the upper part of the obelisk, which forms a sort of basin, with which the pipes are connected. The one permits the water to rise to the level from whence it had descended; by the other, the water descends from this level to the foot of the souterasi, where it enters another canal underground, which conducts it to a second and to a third souterasi, where it rises and again descends, as at the last station. Here a reservoir receives it and distributes it in different directions by orifices of which the discharge is known.” Again he says, “it requires but little attention to perceive that this system of conducting tubes is nothing but a series of siphons open at their upper part, and communicating with each other. The expense of a conduit by souterasi is estimated at only one-fifth of that of an aqueduct with arcades.” There seems to be really no advantage in these pyramids, further than as they serve the purpose of discharging the air which collects in the pipes. They are in themselves an evident obstruction, and the water would flow more freely without any interruption of the kind. In regard to the leaden pipes, again, they would have required, with so little head pressure as is stated, to be used of very extraordinary dimensions to pass the same quantity of water as was discharged along the arched conduits (see also works quoted under Constantinople). The other principal source from which Constantinople is supplied, is from the high grounds 6 or 8 m. west of the town, from which it is conducted by conduits and arches, in the same manner as the others. The supply drawn from all these sources, as detailed by Andréossy, amounted to 400,000 cubic ft. per day.  (A. S. M.; J. M. M.) 

III. Modern Construction.—Where towns are favourably situated the aqueduct may be very short and its cost bear a relatively small proportion to the total outlay upon a scheme of water supply, but where distant sources have to be relied upon Aqueducts and water supply. the cost of the aqueduct becomes one of the most important features in the scheme, and the quantity of water obtainable must be considerable to justify the outlay. Hence it is that only very large towns can undertake the responsibility for this expenditure. In Great Britain it has in all large schemes become a condition that, when a town is permitted to go outside its own watershed, it shall, subject to a priority of a certain number of gallons per day per head of its own inhabitants, allow local authorities, any part of whose district is within a certain number of miles of the aqueduct, to take a supply on reasonable terms. The first case in which this principle was adopted on a large scale was the Thirlmere scheme sanctioned by parliament in 1879, for augmenting the supply of Manchester. The previous supply was derived from a source only about 15 m. distant, and the cost of the aqueduct, chiefly cast-iron pipes, was insignificant compared with the cost of the impounding reservoirs. But Thirlmere is 96 m. distant from the service reservoir near Manchester, and the cost of the aqueduct was more than 90% of the total cost. As a supply of about 50,000,000 gallons a day is available the outlay was justifiable, and the water is in fact very cheaply obtained. Liverpool derives a supply of about 40,000,000 gallons a day from the river Vyrnwy in North Wales, 68 m. distant, and Birmingham has constructed works for impounding water in Radnorshire, and conveying it a distance of 74 m., the supply being about 75,000,000 gallons a day. In the year 1899 an act of parliament was passed authorizing the towns of Derby, Leicester, Sheffield and Nottingham, jointly to obtain a supply of water from the head waters of the river Derwent in Derbyshire. Leicester is 60 m. distant from this source, and its share of the supply is about 10,000,000 gallons a day. For more than half the distance, however, the aqueduct