Come out from the banks of the underground river?
24 September lecture “Smart Moscow” held in the reading room of Turgenev lecture Maxim Deputatova, specialist in the history of the Moscow metro. The expert told about the underground rivers in the capital, but also about the very principle of construction of collectors and the history of such communications. We all know that the pipe size named in honor of the pipe, in which flows the river Neglinka, but did you know that a pipe was there during the reign of Catherine II? Slon leads a condensed version of the lecture.
In Moscow there are about 170 small rivers, streams. The city stands on this spot many centuries, it grows, develops, and with it changes and hydraulics. Why do people build all kinds of waterworks in the city (in the city, agriculture we do not consider)? The answer is simple: to solve the problem of wastewater – where else? Wastewater is not just sewage, and any liquid waste of human life. How did you solve the required problem old man? Yes is not solved, just poured all over the fence and calmed down. But slowly the ideas came to dig some channels, pin boards, stones. And even better – tile the top. Thus appeared the first drainage tunnels. The famous Maxim of the Roman Cloaca ( Cloaca Maxima, the Great sewer) was one of the first drainage systems in the world, it was built in the VI century BC and has survived to the present the moment.
The level of development of underground facilities is an important criterion of a civilized society. In Africa, for example, underground structures of this kind there are no.
So the man figured out where to drain the sewage, used water, and the problem with underground structures was solved. Somewhere in the nineteenth century, however, there was new: the city has developed, and the location of the buildings became so close that the river that flowed into the city, suddenly began to interfere. Came the next stage in the development of drainage of underground structures, namely, the people began to build reservoirs to rivers and streams. The first was London, where in the XIX century one of the earliest underground sewers built for the river fleet.
I will say a few words about the methods of construction. Drainage and river reservoirs are simpler than those that are needed for the metro. They are located at a smaller depth, they do not require complex electrical system. On the river the fleet used the open method of underground insurance: unloaded earth, in this time water was diverted on a wooden tray to the side. After completion, the tray was removed, and the river flowed in a new stone track. On top was the ceiling, he covered them up. Pavement is ready!
There is another method, formwork. In the early twentieth century in Vienna manifold built so: put the wooden planks, then the concrete or bricks. And most collectors of the late XIX-early XX century was done this way.
The river was once clean
In Moscow all these buildings were built much later than in Europe. First appeared the most primitive drainage system, of wood: they are found on the territory of the Kremlin.
When we talk about hydraulic engineering in Moscow, you need to remember the Neglinnaya river. In the map of 1739 it is visible in all its glory. As is known, Moscow was founded in the place of the confluence of the Moskva and Neglinnaya rivers on Borovitsky hill. On the map on the right side, you can see the flow, it Naprudnoe, and left the river, which begins in the area of the Riga railway.
At watercolors by Matvey Kazakov, Dating back to 1790, the river is depicted in a natural way. It was clean the river, it fished, even the shipping was.
But by the end of the eighteenth century Neglinnaya became contaminated. Moscow has grown, developed, people became more and more, and they are not intended to be, where to put garbage, they are simply poured into the river. The first draft of arrangement of Neglinka appeared under Catherine II, but then was limited to the minimum measures: just made an artificial channel, has strengthened the boards of banks, ennobled what can be called the quays, and on Trubnaya square made the first underground area.
As you know, the name of the area derives from the pipes, but it was very conditional pipe in the wall of the White city, and through it the river just flowed. And when Catherine area got a pipe, when a small section of the river was removed under the ground.
Once settled in the River after the fire of 1812. A Commission was established to determine the severity of the damage, developed a plan to restore the city and the reconstruction of the Neglinka in particular. Most of the river, approximately from the Gravity flow to the outlet in the Moscow river, was completely removed under the ground. Of course, from the point of view of modern waterworks that first manifold was very primitive, made of wood. Its detailed description is not preserved, but there is historical evidence of the period 1880-ies, then the River again, decided to renovate. Well-known journalist and writer Vladimir Gilyarovsky participated in the assessment. Preserved his report, which was later published:
“The arch of the pipe is quite well preserved, but in places there are longitudinal cracks, especially under large Theatrical and passing near the Sandunovsky fountain, over 60 fathoms. Sometimes the arch donkey and narrowed the channel. <…> channel Walls have a thickness of 4 bricks, and the arch of 2 bricks. The floor consists of a double row of planks laid along the canal. The walls of the channel lie on its base on three rows of piles, and the floor is reinforced by transverse logs, embedded in the end of these piles. The floor is rotted in some places; his boards are coming off the course and cluttering up the channel. The height of the channel to date was not the same.”
Another excerpt from the book “Moscow and Muscovites” Gilyarovskogo, where the Neglinka a whole Chapter. He is extremely inspired me when I first arrived in the underworld:
“Out of the hole poured foul-smelling vapor. Fyodor-plumber went first; hole, wet and muddy, it was narrow, a ladder stood upright, the back scraped against the wall.
He heard the squelch of water and the voice from the crypt:
– Climb up!
I pulled up above my hunting boots, buttoned all the buttons on the leather jacket and began to descend. The elbows and shoulders touching the wall of the pipe. Hands had to hold on to dirty stage standing vertically swinging ladder, supported, however, workers remaining at the top. With each step down the stench became stronger and stronger.”
There’s a fine line – a writer working coming, feet bumping into things, and he says, “I’m telling you, people go”. Perhaps this is true, because in the same Chapter Giljarovsky describes how she met people who were robbed of a gentleman and wanted his body to be dumped in one of the hatches leading into the River.
In 1886-1887, under the direction of engineer Nicholas Levicheva was overhauled header. The tunnel expanded, the walls plastered, the bottom deepened and laid out in white stone. Also set the valves, allowing to regulate the flow of water. This is a major hydraulic structure, reservoir almost London level, where people built for centuries, the engineering decision is made almost perfectly.
The collector in the form of brick chimneys, was constructed through formwork, have been preserved until now. But he couldn’t keep up, helped not even sewage, and rainfall, which in Moscow happened quite often.