Notable engineering work built in Havana in the second half of the nineteenth century, estimated as one of the most outstanding of its time on a world scale, which today supplies about 15 percent of the water required by the city. Considered one of the seven wonders of Cuban civil engineering, it also has the status of National Monument.

This monumental construction of great technical precision is integrated by the works of capture in the springs of Vento, the tunnel in the river Almendares, the Vento Channel, the deposits of Palatino and the distribution system. The process begins when the water of about 400 springs of Vento, is collected in a large bowl of stonework, known as Vento Cup. One side of this collecting cup serves as a retaining wall against the waters of the Almendares River during its floods.

Below the river bed it is a tunnel with two conductors that connect the cup to the channel, to the Palatino distribution tanks. More than 20 cylindrical towers serve for the registration and inspection of the work and the air circulation in the duct, by means of ventilating grills. After their trip, the water arrives at the Palatino tanks built with the purpose of depositing the amount of water necessary for the consumption of a day, without interruption of the service. Each side has its spillway to the drainage ditch and all these operations are carried out by gates.

In this work everything is unique: the technical precision, the beauty of its civil constructions, the guarantee of healthy water and the safety of its operation, that it does not need fuel and only requires disinfection by means of chlorination.

This project includes among its elements:

   * The conduit.
    *The distribution network.
    * A dam.
    * The passage of the river.
    * Works in Vento’s glen.
    * The intake and bypass channel.
    * The storage tank.
    * The pond of catchment and meeting of the springs.
    * House and pond of gates and maneuvers of the siphons of the passage of the river.

More than 100 years after its construction, the Albear Aqueduct still provides an invaluable service to the population of the Cuban capital by providing almost 20 percent of Havana’s water consumption.

Por Redacción digital

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