‘How Much More Time?’ Asks Leading Construction Consultant Referring to America’s Infrastructure Crisis
BEAUFORT, S.C., May 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ —
“By 345 A.D. Rome was supplied with fresh water from eleven aqueducts, some over 30 miles away. Not only was fresh water supplied for the many public fountains throughout Rome, but it was distributed in constant volume to public bathhouses, government facilities, and individual homes. In addition, enough water was supplied to flush the sanitary out as well,” remarks Paul Gogulski, P.E., President of Gogulski & Associates, Inc. “The water was clean and constantly running. It didn’t just ‘happen’ that way – it took years of trial and error to learn the correct engineering, distribution, use of settling ponds, sluice gates and presumably some kind of environmental controls to maintain clean water.”
Aqueducts moved water through gravity alone, along a slight downward gradient within conduits of stone, brick or concrete. Most were buried beneath the ground, and followed its contours. Obstructing peaks were avoided or tunneled through. Where valleys or lowlands intervened, the conduit was carried on bridgework, or its contents fed into high-pressure pipes and siphoned across. Most aqueduct systems included sedimentation tanks, sluices and distribution tanks to regulate the supply as needed. They also contained two channels, one for runoff during the spring when mountain streams caused gushers, and the other during the dry season when runoff was limited to sporadic rain and underground springs. “Somehow, the Roman engineers figured out how to provide clean water and constant flow throughout Rome for a population which exceeded 1,000,000 … an engineering accomplishment of monumental proportions,” marvels Gogulski.
In addition, the Romans developed a unique form of thermodynamics that has not since been duplicated. Their bathhouses were large, structurally sound and a source of civic pride. Using boilers and movement of air, moisture and temperature, the tile floors were heated. Ventilation was designed to work through the walls to avoid any smoke or steam in the public space. “Try doing that today without fans, pumps or electricity,” said Gogulski. The city of Rome retained a paramount position as “the eternal city” and a spiritual center of the Empire for almost 1000 years.
Gogulski opines on the roles of corruption and brain damage in Rome’s decline: “The invasion of barbarians who crossed the Rhine River when it froze in the winter could have easily been defeated had Rome retained any semblance of its former stature and strength. The extensive use of pewter for drinking vessels caused brain damage from lead poisoning, particularly to Rome’s aristocracy. Rome was sacked first by the Gauls, and then by the Visigoths in 410 A.D., which proved to be the major landmark in the ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.’ St. Jerome, living in Bethlehem at the time, wrote that ‘The City which had taken the whole world was itself taken.’”
“To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society” – Teddy Roosevelt
Gogulski concludes that, “Rome was the last great empire to rule the entire known world. In the days of Teddy Roosevelt, the United States held the esteemed position as ‘the light of the world,’ but today our greatness has been diminished and our influence has faltered. We are bankrupt, both financially and morally. We too are poisoned from within, but our brain damage is not from lead. It took Rome a thousand years for its decline and disappearance. How much more time for the United States?”
Paul Gogulski, P.E.
Gogulski & Associates, Inc.
SOURCE Gogulski & Associates, Inc.