Roman aqueduct near Waldrach

The Roman aqueduct on the "Road of the Romans"

Above Waldrach, a replica of the Roman aqueduct can be seen at a car park along the Ruwertalstrasse roadway. A small section of this aqueduct was rebuilt on a concrete base in order to demonstrate the construction and cross-section. The building fabric comes from the original Roman aqueduct, which had to be excavated when it became necessary to lay the Ruwertalstrasse roadway nearby. However, most of this important structure from Roman times is today still buried in the ground on the western slope of the Ruwer Valley.

This aqueduct was probably built as early as the 2nd century AD in order to guarantee supplies for the increasing water consumption of Roman Trier. The Ruwer was routed and fed into a channel pipe above Waldrach, approx. 200 m above the confluence of the Riveris. This channel ran mostly underground, and followed the slow but even slopes of the western side of the Ruwertal Valley. When deeper side valleys joined up with one another, the channel was continued along bridge constructions. The final remains of this aqueduct were destroyed near Kasel in the middle of last century. The channel was sighted in many different places, and sometimes unearthed, during excavations. It ran from the Ruwer Valley, along the Grüneberg to Trier, ending near the present-day Löwenbrauerei brewery, from where the water was fed into wells and reservoirs.

The aqueduct was built from square sandstone blocks, slate rubble and lime mortar. It had a cross-section measuring 0.72 m in width and 0.90 m in height. Traces of sinter and plasterwork on the duct walls indicate an average water level of 0.60 m flowing through it. The productivity, based on the average flow speed of the Ruwer, is thus calculated as being 0.29 m2/sec = 25,400 m2 per day, which would be over 9 million m2 a year. This amount approximately corresponds to Trier’s potable water needs today.

In the days of the aqueduct, the excess water was fed into the city’s sewage system. Today, Trier once again obtains some of its drinking water from that same catchment area of the Hochwald timber forest - from the Riveristal dam (Riveristalsperre).

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