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Museum taps water pipe tree history
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A "water pipe tree" in Shanghai that is more than 50 years old will be moved into the city's history museum within months after the local community block where it stands was slated for urban reconstruction.

The "tree," now the only old-style tap water pipeline left in Shanghai, is a water access with one main artery and more than 10 tube branches serving more than 70 households in the courtyard on 63 Chang'an Road by Suzhou Creek.

There are two taps on the "trunk" tube for water access while water can also flow to rooms on the ground floor through "tree root" tubes and second-storey shanties through "branch" tubes.

The tree structure came about when the two taps on the water main could no longer cater to all the households in the courtyard. Residents carrying bowls with rice, vegetables or clothes were forced to wait in line for their water.

"I've been living here over five decades. It was very inconvenient to carry water up from the yard every time I wanted to use it," said a woman surnamed Meng living in a second-floor room. "I started to graft a tube onto the water main and let the water flow directly into my room."

(Shanghai Daily March 13, 2008)

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