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Roman and New York Aqueducts

            Roman and New York Aqueducts - The Engineering Marvel.
             Supplying a city with water is a very difficult challenge today. Imagine having to supply a city inhabiting over one million people, one-eighth the population of New York City, with water, 2,000 years ago. In Rome's early days, the people got water from nearby springs that were filled by the Tiber River. The water near Rome in the Tiber was becoming polluted because Rome's sewer system, the Cloaca Maxima, dumped sewage into the Tiber. The increasing demand for clean, cool water needed a solution. Aqueducts were the answer. .
             The word aqueduct means a man-made conduit for carrying water. It comes from the Latin words aqua meaning water and ducere meaning to lead. The aqueducts were able to bring fresh clean water to the city, filter the water and later, excess water was used to flush out the sewers. The Romans used Greek models to build their first aqueduct, the Aqua Appia. It was built in 312 B.C. under the supervision of Appius Claudius Crassus. Although the Romans were the greatest aqueduct builders in ancient history, they were not the first. Hundreds of years before the Romans built their first aqueduct, many middle-eastern countries such as Persia, Egypt and India had aqueducts. The Assyrians built one similar to the Roman ones in 691 B.C. However, over a period of five hundred years, the Romans built eleven aqueducts spanning over 260 miles. It was a feat unparalleled by any other civilization.
             Over a long period of time, about 500 years, Rome had eleven aqueducts supplying it with water. The ancient aqueducts were able to supply Rome with 38 million gallons of water per day. Censor Appius Claudius Crassus, built the first aqueduct, the Aqua Appia, in 312 B.C. Gaius Plautius found the spring for the Aqua Appia. The Aqua Appia was a very simple aqueduct that ran mostly underground. It covered about 10 miles. Twenty-five percent of the water brought in by this aqueduct was used for private homes, while 70 percent was used for commercial buildings in the forum.

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