New York to Have Catskill Water in December
Sometime in December next, water from the Catskill mountains will be in New York city. The first link of the world’s greatest water system will then be completed. One hundred and twenty-seven miles away the water will begin its three-day journey to the southernmost end of the metropolis from Ashokan reservoir in the Catskills and running through a giant aqueduct pass down the Westerly side of the Hudson river, cross under through a huge deep syphon at Storm King, thence to the Croton reservoir system and through the present distribution pipes to New York. When the entire gigantic project is completed the water will run from Ashokan down through two new reservoirs now building —one at Kensico and the other at Yonkers— thence, diving deep at the northern city line, it will run through 34 miles of tunnels driven in the living rock far below the street surface under all Manhattan, crossing to Brooklyn and Queens, and finally under salt water again to Staten Island, where, after its journey of 127 miles, it will flow into Silver Lake reservoir. This new source of water supply for ever-growing New York will eventually be gathered from four Catskill watersheds Ksopus. Schoharie, Rondout and Catskill Creek. At present only Ksopus is tapped by the great aqueduct. The entire district has an area of 900 square miles. Even in extraordinarily dry years. 770,000,000 gallons of water can be drawn from it daily. The finished work on the mighty undertaking wiil cost $177,000,000. Ashokan reservoir, where the main body of water is stored, is 14 miles west of Kingston, in the heart of the Catskills. This mighty collect, greatest in the world, holds enough water to cover Manhattan Island to a depth of 28 feet. In area it is equivalent to all Manhattan south of One Hundred and Sixteenth street. The reservoir has cost $18,000,000. It has an area of 8,180 acres, a capacity of 132 billions of gallons. It is 590 feet above tide water and will force water to the eighteenth story of Manhattan’s skyscrapers under natural pressure. Present pressure only carries the water six stories. To create this reservoir seven villages were razed and some 2,000 people moved. Thirty-one cemeteries were removed and 2,800 bodies reinterred. Eleven miles of railroad were relocated, 64 miles of roads discontinued, 40 miles of new highway laid and 10 new bridges built.
From Ashokan the aqueduct follows down the westerly side of the Hudson, gradually approaching the river and crossing deep under it through a giant steel siphon at Storm King. Down the east side the water will flow steadily on to Kcnsico reservoir, three miles north of White Plains. This will act as an emergency basin for all city water east of the Hudson. It has been formed by damming the Bronx valley with a wall of masonry 1,843 feet long and 170 feet high and has a capacity of 38 billions of gallons of water and an area of 4,500 acres. It is three miles long and a mile wide, and from its site 500 people had to move. From Kensico the aqueduct drops 15 miles further south to Hill View reservoir at Yonkers. Its function is different from Ashokan, which collects, or Kcnsico, which stores. It equalizes the varying use of the water from hour to hour in the city and keeps the flow steady and even. It has a reserve capacity of 900,000.000 gallons, only to he used in continuations. The cost was $3,270,000. The splendid aqueduct, long cst and deepest in the world, outrivalling those of ancient Rome, which have stood unsurpassed through the centuries, has a flow of 500,000,000 gallons a day. From Hill View reservoir the aqueduct becomes a rock tunnel, diving deep down under the bowels of the metropolis, worming its way through the rock to all five boroughs. This tunnel is 34 miles long the longest in the world. Starting with a diameter of 15 feet under Manhattan, the rock tube gradually compresses to 11 feet. It lies 200 to 750 feet below the city streets. Brooklyn is reached by a tunnel 700 feet below the East River, driven through rock far below the bottom. Queens gets its water from iron and steel pipes leading from Brooklyn, and Staten Island is reached by a great cast iron pipe from Brooklyn, resting on the bottom of the harbor. Silver Lake reservoir, the southern terminal of the great system, has a capacity for 400,000,000 gallons. This city work cost $25,000,000 and is almost done. The number of laborers employed on the whole undertaking was 17,240.