NEW SOURCE OF SUPPLY FOR NEW YORK
The Mayor’s Special Commission Proposes to Spend $161,825,000 to Bring Water nrom the Catskills.
Some months ago Mayor McClellan, of New York city, appointed as special commissioners on water supply J Edward Simmons, Charles N. Chadwick and Charles A. Shaw, who employed in the work of investigation Chief Engineer J. Waldo Smith, with John R. Freeman, Professor W. H. Burr and Frederic P. Stearns, as consulting engineers. In order to gain the requisite information, the board visited the Metropolitan system of Boston and other large plants. The plans outlined, following in essentials the report of the Burr-Hering-Freeman commission, are declared by the commissioners to furnish the only means of preventing a water famine in the city of New York at an early date. The commission has decided on the Catskill source as the only one available (unless the Hudson river above Poughkeepsie is still thought of), and has embraced in its plans much of the territory on which the Ramapo Water company has, or claims to have options. This source of supply is the only one left, unless the lake George project is adopted, since legislation has rendered impossible the sources offered by Suffolk, Dutchess and Worcester counties. Owing to the elimination of these and other sources, the report recommends that the plan for taking water from the Catskills should comprise a change of location ot the aqueduct line by raising the flow-line of the proposed Ashokan reservoir on the Esopus watershed to about 600 feet above tide-level, whereby the storage would be so increased as to involve, at an earlier date than previously proposed, the construction of a long tunnel to tap the Schoharie source, and the addition of the Rondout and Catskill watersheds, by the construction of a series ol storage reservoirs in those localities. By these means a daily supply of 500,000.000 to 600,000,000 gallons of water will be secured, even in years of smallest rainfall. It is believed that an aqueduct of a capacity for about 500.000,000 gallons is, under present conditions. an economic limitation as to size. These storage reservoirs, together with this aqueduct, will probably furnish an additional supply of water for New York sufficient for the increase of population to the year 1925. The total cost to add 250,000,000 gallons daily to the water supply, including a great reservoir and aqueduct suitable for the ultimate development of the works to supply 500,000,000 gallons a day, would be $106,212,-000, while the total cost to actually add about 500,000,000 gallons to the daily supply, including the filtration of this water, would be $161,857,000. This outlay would provide for the delivery of 500,000,000 gallons to a terminal distributing reservoir at Hill View, in Yonkers, the construction of a storage reservoir at Kensico (both in Westchester county), capable of supplying the city for fifty days at the rate of 500,000,000 gallons a day, in case the aqueduct should suffer damage, a conduit of a capacity sufficient to deliver 200,000,000 gallons daily to Brooklyn, and a pipe line to deliver 20,000,000 gallons daily to Richmond, 117 miles from the head of the aqueduct at the nearest point of the great reservoir in the Catskills. These watersheds, it is claimed, can afterwards be so developed as to make available over 600,000,000 gallons daily. It is proposed to build only the Ashokan reservoir at first. The Kensico reservoir would be formed of the Rye pond and the present Kensico basin, and, if built, it would obviate the necessity of relying solely on the Ashokan reservoir for the entire Catskill supply, and wanting off a water famine, if an accident occurred anywhere along the sixty-nine miles between the Ashokan and the Kensico reservoirs. Without the extra development of the watersheds, the Ashokan reservoir, it is estimated, would be all that is needed for fifty years. The plan also provides for sending 200,000,000 gallons daily to Brooklyn and 20,000,000 daily to Richmond, and for a total length of 117 miles of aqueduct from the watershed in the Catskills to the terminal reservoir on Staten Island. The crossing of the Hudson by a 500.000,000-gallon aqueduct would be concluded at New Hamburg, in Dutchess county. A distributing reservoir is also planned at Hill View, Yonkers, and the Brooklyn and Richmond borough supplies would be delivered by a conduit and a pipe line respectively. The F.sopus w atershed has an area of 255 square miles. The Ashokan reservoir would be built at a point near the Schoharie watershed, necessitating the boring of a tunnel between Schoharie and Ulster counties. Its capacity would be 170,000,000,000 gallons; its length, 12.0 miles; average width, 1.5; average depth, 65.0 feet; area of water surface, 10,120 acres; area of land required, 15,100 acres; maximum height of principal dam, 230 feet; elevation of high water above sea-level, 600 feet. The Rondout watershed, in Ulster county, has an area of 131 square miles. The proposed Lackawack reservoir would have a capacity of 13,270,000,000 gallons; area, 1,080 acres; area of land required, 2,221 acres; elevation of high water above sea-level, 1,240 feet. The proposed Napanoch reservoir in Ulster county will have a capacity of 4,760,000,000 gallons; area, 440 acres; area of land required, 1,267 acres; elevation of high water above sea-level, 660 feet. The Schoharie watershed has an area of 163 square miles. The proposed Prattville reservoir would be in Greene county; capacity, 9,400,000,000 gallons; area, 700 acres; land required, 2,283 acres; elevation of high water above sea-level, 1,240 feet. The Catskill watershed lias an area of 163 square miles. The proposed reservoir at Franklinton, Schoharie county, will have a capacity of 6,150,000,000 gallons; area, 576 acres; area of land required, 1,610 acres; elevation of high water above sea-level, 950 feet. The proposed Preston Hollow, Albany county, reservoir will have a capacity of 9,370,000,000 gallons; area, 520 acres; area of land required, 1,427 acres; elevation of high water above sea-level, 950 feet. The proposed East Durham, Greene county, reservoir will have a capacity of 2,000,000,000 gallons; area, 800 acres; area of land required, 1,638 acres; elevation of high water above sea-level, 640 feet. The aqueducts required are as follows: Catskill aqueduct—Daily capacity, gallons, 500,000,000; length from Ashokan reservoir to Hudson river crossing, miles, thirty; to Croton watershed, miles, fifty-four; to Kensico reservoir, miles, sixty-nine; to filters (including length of Kensico reservoir), miles, sixty; to Hill View reservoir, miles, eighty-six; to Forest Park reservoir, miles, 103; to Slaten Island, miles, 117. Rondout aqueduct-—Length from Napanoch reservoir to Catskill aqueduct, miles, twenty-one. Schoharie tunnel—Length from Prattsville reservoir to Esopus creek, miles, ten. Branch aqueduct from Catskill watershed to Ashokan reservoir—Length from East Durham reservoir to Ashokan reservoir, miles, thirty. The total estimated cost for Ashokan reservoir, Catskill aqueduct to Hill View reservoir, Kensico reservoir, Hill View reservoir, and pipe line to Forest Park, for 250,000,000 gallons daily, $106,212,000; for additional 250,000,000 gallons daily by development of Rondout and Schoharie watersheds and for filters at Scarsdale and pipe line to Staten Island, add $55,645,000—total for 500,000,000 gallons daily, filtered and delivered to Hill View reservoir, of which 100,000,000 gallons daily is sent on to Forest Park and 20,000,000 gallons daily to Staten Island, $161,857,000. The storage reservoirs would be as follows: Kensico reservoir— capacity, 40,000,000,000 gallons; area, acres, 2,300; area of land required in addition to that now owned by the city, acres, 2,000; elevation of high water above sea-level, feet, 355. Hill View reservoir—Ultimate capacity, gallons, 2,000,000,000; portion to be built at first, gallons, 600,000,000; area of land required, acres, 325 ; elevation of high water above sea-level, feet, 295. Filters near Scarsdale, Westchester county—Dailv capacity, gallons, 500.000,000; land required, acres, 250. The water will be taken from the following sources: (1) Esopus creek, at a point near Olive Bridge; (2) Rondout creek, at a point near Napanoch, three small streams tributary to the Rondout; (3) Schoharie creek, at a point near Prattsville; (4) Catskill creek, at a point about one mile north of East Durham, six small streams tributary to aqueduct from Catskill creek to Ashokan reservoir.