Roman aqueduct, 2nd century, with modification to the 4th century
The Ruwer aqueduct was 12.8 long and supplied the Roman city of Trier with water from the 2nd century. The channel has been located at more than 100 places, in some cases as a double channel with a bypass following repair work. Its extremely shallow gradient, with a difference in height of just 7.74 m over 12.8 km, is testimony to the enormous skill of ancient surveyors. The aqueduct was capable of transporting between a minimum of 25,000 m3, and a maximum of 42,000 m3 of water a day, which is more than the present daily requirement of c. 22,000 m3 for the city of Trier today.
In 1975 archaeological excavations were carried out where the Ruwer was fed into the aqueduct above Waldrach. Sections of the channel can be seen at two places in Waldrach. In Trier, following investigations by archaeologists in 1997, the spot where the aqueduct crossed the later, 2nd-century city walls was conserved in Bergstrasse. A 6m high step in the rock of the hillside south of Ruwer, which supported the aqueduct, can still be seen today.
The channel itself was mostly c. 80 cm wide and 100 m high, and lined with waterproof mortar; it was capped with an arched covering c. 60 cm high. Except for section where it was carried across valleys on short bridges (often called aqueducts), the channel was buried 2-3 m deep in the ground, where it was unaffected by frost.
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