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Champagne down the Drain

Shayna Friedman

If you live in New York City, you probably drink bottled “spring” water. Well, while you’re pouring yourself a cup of Perrier, I’ll drink to what’s been described as the “champagne of drinking waters” — that which comes straight from any NYC kitchen sink. Here’s the story of NYC reservoirs and the system of aqueducts and tunnels that delivers this precious liquid to NYC’s taps.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

NYC Reservoirs — Breaking Ground In 1776, Manhattan’s population of 22,000 had outgrown private and public wells. To meet the city’s needs, the Manhattan Company (now Chase Manhattan Bank) built the city’s first reservoir in Manhattan, east of Broadway. Although reservoirs can be filled with water from streams, rivers, and rain, and can have a system such as pipes to deliver the water, this reservoir was filled with water from a local pond and some nearby wells and delivered the water to main city streets through hollowed-out logs. By the 1800s, the city realized it needed to expand its water sources to keep up with the growing population. By the 1900s, it looked to include the Catskills into its water system. 


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