Page:EB1911 - Volume 02.djvu/259

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AQUEDUCT

is common to Derby and Nottingham, which together are entitled to about 16,000,000 gallons a day, and the expense to Leicester is correspondingly reduced. These are the most important cases of long aqueducts in England, and all are subsequent to 1879. It is obvious, therefore, how greatly the design and construction of the aqueduct have grown in importance, and what care must be exercised in order that the supply upon which such large populations depend may not be interrupted, and that the country through which such large volumes of water are conveyed may not be flooded in consequence of the failure of any of the works.

Practically only two types of aqueduct are used in England. The one is built of concrete, brickwork, &c., the other of cast-iron (or, in special circumstances, steel) pipes. In the former type the water surface coincides with the Construction. hydraulic gradient, and the conditions are those of an artificial river; the aqueduct must therefore be carefully graded throughout, so that the fall available between source and termination may be economically distributed. This condition requires that the ground in which the work is built shall be at the proper elevation; if at any point this is not the case, the aqueduct must be carried on a substructure built up to the required level. Such large structures are, however, extremely expensive, and require elaborate devices for maintaining water-tightness against the expansion and contraction of the masonry due to changes of temperature. They are now only used where their length is very short, as in cases where mountain streams have to be crossed, and even these short lengths are avoided by some engineers, who arrange that the aqueduct shall pass, wherever practicable, under the streams. Where wide valleys interrupt the course of the built aqueduct, or where the absence of high ground prevents the adoption of that type at any part of the route, the cast-iron pipes hereafter referred to are used.

The built aqueduct may be either in tunnel, or cut-and-cover, the latter term denoting the process of cutting the trench, building the floor, side-walls, and roof, and covering with earth, the surface of the ground being restored Masonry aqueducts. as before. For works conveying water for domestic supply, the aqueduct is in these days, in England, always covered. Where, as is usually the case, the water is derived from a tract of mountainous country, the tunnel work is sometimes very heavy. In the case of the Thirlmere aqueduct, out of the first 13 m. the length of the tunnelled portions is 8 m., the longest tunnel being 3 m. in length. Conditions of time, and the character of the rock, usually require the use of machinery for driving, at any rate in the case of the longer tunnels. For the comparatively small tunnels required for aqueducts, two percussion drilling machines are usually mounted on a carriage, the motive power being derived from compressed air sent up the tunnel in pipes. The holes when driven are charged with explosives and fired. In the Thirlmere tunnels, driven through very hard Lower Silurian strata, the progress was about 13 yds. a week at each face, work being carried on continuously day and night for six days a week. Where the character of the country through which the aqueduct passes is much the same as that from which the supply is derived, the tunnels need not be lined with concrete, &c., more than is absolutely necessary for retaining the water and supporting weak places in the rock; the floor, however, is nearly always so treated. The lining, whether in tunnel or cut-and-cover, may be either of concrete, or brickwork, or of concrete faced with brickwork. To ensure the impermeability of work constructed with these materials is in practice somewhat difficult, and no matter how much care is taken by those supervising the workmen, and even by the workmen themselves, it is impossible to guarantee entire freedom from trouble in this respect. With a wall only about 15 in. thick, any neglect is certain to make the work permeable; frequently the labourers do not distribute the broken stone and fine material of the concrete uniformly, and no matter how excellent the design, the quality of materials, &c., a leak is sure to occur at such places (unless, indeed, the pressure of the outside water is superior and an inflow occurs). A further cause of trouble lies in the water which flows from the strata on to the concrete, and washes away some of the cement upon which the work depends for its watertightness, before it has time to set. For this reason it is advisable to put in the floor before, and not after, the sidewalls and arch have been built, otherwise the only outlet for the water in the strata is through the ground on which the floor has to be laid. Each length of about 20 ft. should be completely constructed before the next is begun, the water then having an easy exit at the leading end. Manholes, by which the aqueduct can be entered, are usually placed in the roof at convenient intervals; thus, in the case of the Thirlmere aqueduct, they occur at every quarter of a mile.

In some parts of America aqueducts are frequently constructed of wood, being then termed flumes. These are probably more extensively used in California than in any other part of the world, for conveying large quantities of water Timber aqueducts. which is required for hydraulic mining, for irrigation, for the supply of towns and for transporting timber. The flumes are frequently carried along precipitous mountain slopes, and across valleys, supported on trestles. In Fresno county, California, there is a flume 52 m. in length for transporting timber from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the plain below; it has a rectangular V-shaped section, 3 ft. 7 in. wide at the top, and 21 in. deep vertically. The boards which form the sides are 1¼ in. thick, and some of the trestlework is 130 ft. high. The steepest grade occurs where there is a fall of 730 ft. in a length of 3000 ft. About 9,000,000 ft. of timber were used in the construction. At San Diego there is a flume 35 m. long for irrigation and domestic supply, the capacity being 50 ft. per second; it has 315 trestle bridges (the longest of which is that across Los Coches Creek, 1794 ft. in length and 65 ft. in height) and 8 tunnels, and the cost was $900,000. The great bench flume of the Highline canal, Colorado, is 2640 ft. in length, 28 ft. wide, and 7 ft. deep; the gradient is 5.28 ft. per mile, and the discharge 1184 ft. per second.

As previously stated, the type of aqueduct built of concrete, &c., can only be adopted where the ground is sufficiently elevated to carry it, and where the quantity of water to be conveyed makes it more economical than piping. Where the falling contour Aqueduct in iron piping. is interrupted by valleys too wide for a masonry structure above the surface of the ground, the detached portions of the built aqueduct must be connected by rows of pipes laid beneath, and following the main undulations of, the surface. In such cases the built aqueduct terminates in a chamber of sufficient size to enclose the mouths of the several pipes, which, thus charged, carry the water under the valley up to a corresponding chamber on the farther hillside from which the built aqueduct again carries on the supply. These connecting pipes are sometimes called siphons, although they have nothing whatever to do with the principle of a siphon, the water simply flowing into the pipe at one end and out at the other under the influence of gravity, and the pressure of the atmosphere being no element in the case. The pipes are almost always made of cast-iron, except in such cases as the lower part of some siphons, where the pressure is very great, or where they are for use abroad, when considerations of weight are of importance, and when they are made of rolled steel with riveted or welded seams. It is frequently necessary to lay them in deep cuttings, in which case cast-iron is much better adapted for sustaining a heavy weight of earth than the thinner steel, though the latter is more adapted to resist internal pressure. Mr D. Clarke (Trans. Am. Soc. C. E. vol. xxxviii. p. 93) gives some particulars of a riveted steel pipe 24 m. long, 33 to 42 in. diameter, varying in thickness from 0.22 in. to 0.375 in. After a length of 9 m. had been laid, and the trench refilled, it was found that the crown of the pipe had been flattened by an amount varying from ½ in. to 4 in. Steel pipes suffer more from corrosion than those made of cast-iron, and as the metal attacked is much thinner the strength is more seriously reduced. These considerations have prevented any general change from cast-iron to steel.

Mr. Clemens Herschel has made some interesting remarks (Proc. Inst. C. E. vol. cxv. p. 162) as to the circumstances in which steel