Zanja Madre - Later Improvements

Later Improvements

The soft, sandy tunnel collapsed several times and attempts were made to repair it with brick lining, but the whole aqueduct was abandoned in 1884 after a flood tore out the wooden dam. It had already been realized since 1878 that several improvements would have to be done to the zanjaยน systems. Some of this included conversion of the smaller ditches to pipelines while larger areas would be concrete. After this last failure the earthen toma and open ditch were put back into service while more elaborate plans were being made.

In 1888 the city planned to put pipe in most of the existing zanjas, but budgetary shortfalls did not allow the work to be finished. The tunnel at the headwater of the Zanja Madre was reconstructed and much of the conduit was either brick or concrete lined. By 1893 there ended up some 50 miles of zanjas in the city and another 40 miles of zanjas outside the city limit. Over the years the portion of the Zanja Madre that passed around the north edge of the River Train Yard was realigned again and again until railroad construction eventually demolished most of the conduits as the city built newer types of water systems.

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