Logged in as user  [Login]  |
AHSP
Return to Search Results Printable Version
 





Brooks Aqueduct

Brooks, Near

Other Names:

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Brooks Aqueduct site contains the remains of a 3.2 kilometre-long reinforced concrete flume designed to carry water east from Lake Newell. It was built between 1912 and 1914 northeast of the lake and just east of the town of Brooks. The designation applies to an area of 19.11 hectares, including the flume and an unusual siphon system designed to take water under the Canadian Pacific Railway line. The Brooks Aqueduct is operated by Alberta Culture and Community Spirit as an interpreted Provincial Historic Site.

Heritage Value
The Brooks Aqueduct is a significant structural representation of the development of irrigation in Alberta, and of the role Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) played in settling the region. It is a remarkable artifact of Canadian engineering. This is also one of the largest aqueducts of its kind in the world.

The Brooks Aqueduct was an integral part of a larger irrigation system designed to bring water to over 50,000 hectares of land that otherwise was susceptible to drought. The system - which included the Bassano Dam, Lake Newell and hundreds of kilometres of smaller canals - allowed the CPR to open the area to agricultural settlement. The Brooks Aqueduct supplied water to area farmers from 1914 to 1979.

The Brooks Aqueduct played a prominent role in the CPR's efforts to settle Western Canada. The CPR had the capital, equipment, labour force, and engineers to attempt such a large-scale project and the motivation to promote colonization of the land it owned between Brooks and Calgary. The Brooks Aqueduct is also connected to the development of local farm organizations such as the Eastern Irrigation District, which owned and operated the Aqueduct after 1935.

The Brooks Aqueduct is also a nationally significant civil engineering achievement because of its design, materials, and sheer size. Its length, low slope, volume of water, and the need to siphon the water under the CPR line presented unusual design difficulties. The open flume was shaped to minimize resistance to the water flow. Construction involved 25,000 cubic yards of concrete, two thousand tons of steel, and Portland cement at a time when the use of reinforced concrete was still in its infancy.

The scale of the Brooks Aqueduct in both height and length makes it a prominent landmark in the area.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 513)


Character-Defining Elements
- the form, scale, design, and massing of the aqueduct and siphon;
- reinforced concrete hanging flume shaped to the hydrostatic catenary (the shape the water would assume in a flume running full if a flexible material were used for the barrel);
- the flume is suspended from a concrete trestle;
- inverted siphon of reinforced concrete, designed on the Venturi principle with tapered ends at inlet and outlet;
- unimpeded view planes surrounding the structure;
- location adjacent the new canal which replaced the aqueduct.



Location



Street Address:
Community: Brooks, Near
Boundaries: Plan 871 1555, Areas "A" thru "H"
Contributing Resources: Structures: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
14
14
14
14
14
14
14
14
14
14
14
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
15
16
16
22
22
22
22
22
23
23
23
13 (ptn.)
15 (ptn.)
16 (ptn.)
1 (ptn.)
2 (ptn.)
3 (ptn.)
4 (ptn.)
8 (ptn.)
4 (ptn.)
5 (ptn.)
6 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
8711555
8711555
8711555
8711555
8711555
8711555
8711555
8711555








N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
H
G
F
E
D
C
B
A

Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
50.530104 -111.848834

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type

Recognition

Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2000/07/20

Historical Information

Built: 1912/01/01 To 1912/01/01
Significant Date(s) 1914/01/01 To 1979/12/31
Theme(s) Developing Economies : Technology and Engineering
Peopling the Land : Settlement
Historic Function(s): Industry : Water or Sewage Facility
Current Function(s): Leisure : Museum
Architect:
Builder:
Context: HISTORICAL/ARCHAEOLOGICAL DATA:

The Brooks Aqueduct is a reinforced concrete flume structure approximately two miles in length and supported on concrete columns at an average height of 25'. The structure built from 1912 to 1914 required 25,000 cubic yards of concrete and two thousand tons of steel. Its architectural significance goes well beyond provincial significance to national importance, as it is one of the largest aqueducts of its kind in the world. Historically, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) irrigation projects in Alberta, of which this is a part, were among the largest irrigation developments on the continent, and the Brooks Aqueduct ranks second only to Bassano Dam as a major structure in the story of irrigation in the dryland of Alberta. The aqueduct has been in use from 1914 up until this year.

Site Data Form (September 13, 1979)

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0425
Designation File: DES 0513
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 44572
Website Link: http://www.culture.alberta.ca/museums/historicsiteslisting/brooksaqueduct/default.aspx
Data Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (Des. 513)
Return to Search Results Printable Version



Freedom to Create. Spirit to Achieve.


Home    Search    Site Map    Contact Us    Login   Library Search

© 1995 - 2013 Government of Alberta    Copyright and Disclaimer    Privacy    Accessibility