The Serino aqueduct was constructed (33 to 12 B.C.) during the Augustus period of the Roman Empire and extended approximately 100 km from its origin (the Acquaro-Pelosi spring in the village of Serino) to Miseno. The aqueduct supplied water to Pompei, Herculaneum, and the Piscina Mirabilis. The principle purpose of the aqueduct was to refurbish the Roman fleet of Misenum (Miseno). The secondary reason was to supply water for the increasing demand of the important harbor of Puteoli (Pozzuoli), as well as drinking water for a number of cities.
On August 24-25, 79 A.D. Mount Vesuvius erupted destroying Pompeii, Herculaneum, and other towns. Prior to that the mountain had been green with olive groves and vineyards.
Pompeii (located near the Bay of Naples, south-southeast of Mt. Vesius) had a water supply that was representative of Roman urban water distribution systems. Sources of water included wells, cisterns, other reservoirs, and the Serino aqueduct. This aqueduct received water from the springs at Serino near Avellino, and then was routed to Pompeii terminating at the castellum at Porta Vesuvii shown below.
Castellum divorsium at Porta Vesuvii used to divert flow to various geographical areas of Pompeii. Note the three opennings in front of the building from which lead pipes were used to deliver water to Pompeii.
Shows the exit from the aqueduct into the castellum divorsium. Note the three channels (one in the center and one on each side) that were used to divert flow to geographical areas of Pompeii. These channels were gated to adjust the amount of flow.
Openning into aqueduct branch behind castellum
Aqueduct branch leading into castellum
On left side of street is a secondary castellum with adjacent fountain. Lead tank was located on top of the column which was supplied with water from the lead pipes that were located in the indented area of the colmun.
Lead pipes and manifold
Lead junction box
Terracotta pipe for rainwater harvesting from roofs. Pipes drained water into cisterns in individual buildings.
View near modern day entrance
Window with volcanic ash
Lead pipes along sidewalk
Lead pipe joint
Lead pipe on sidewalk along street
View of men’s waiting room at the Forum baths. Basin at in the back on the left side is for washing feet and the round marble basin is for washing hands.
Marble basin for washing hands