Fontane e reti fognarie

Al tempo di Roma imperiale per rifornire le terme, le piscine e le fontane pubbliche, scorrevano circa un miliardo di litri d’acqua al giorno.

Questo flusso continuo era alimentato da dieci acquedotti principali sollevati da terra su arcate di pietra e mattoni.

Ancora oggi possiamo ammirare le rovine di quello costruito dall’imperatore Claudio (Aqua Claudia).

La rete idrica romana passava attraverso tubazioni e serbatoi in piombo, nonostante già dal I secolo a.c.

Ciò, nonostante l’architetto Marco Vitruvio ammonisse sui pericoli che il piombo a contatto con l’acqua, rappresentasse per la salute.

L’alternativa era quella di usare condotti di terracotta divisi in sezioni unite con giunti sigillati da un impasto di calce viva e olio.

Ottime erano anche le reti fognarie.

Quelle principali (cloacae) erano tunnel di pietra, in certi punti erano talmente larghi che un carro trainato da buoi poteva passare tranquillamente.

La più antica e la più grande era la Cloaca Massima. Ancora oggi si può vedere lo sbocco, un’arcata di cinque metri di diametro nel punto in cui versa nel Tevere.

Mentre la città era ben fornita, le case private per lo più erano prive di acqua corrente. Squadre di schiavi si occupavano di portarla nelle case.

Allo stesso modo canali di scolo e fogne servivano solo per i luoghi pubblici.

Per le case molto grandi e le ville esistevano grandi latrine, mentre gli abitanti delle grosse città non esitavano a gettare nelle strade i propri rifiuti.

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