WATER IN QUEEN’S COUNTY, N.Y.
Justice Smith in the Supreme court in Brooklyn has granted an order directing the authorities of New York city to show cause why they should not be enjoined from drawing off the fresh water streams which flow into Bellmore, Freeport, Millburn, Seaford, and East Rockaway creeks in the town of Hempstead, Queens county. The order is made returnable on August 9. The application was made on behalf of Supervisor Fox Smith, of Hempstead. In his affidavit he says that he asked Mayor Van Wyck to comply with the provisions of chapter 469 of the Laws of 1898,which says that.when a municipal corporation
shall divert wholly, or in part, a fresh water stream outside the limits of the city and flowing with a tidewater creek or estuary which, before such diversion of the water, was navigable by vessels of twenty tons or more, the municipal corporation shall keep the navigable tide-water creek at the depth of at least three feet at low-water mark for the full natural width of the creek.
Supervisor Cox says that, before the old city of Brooklyn began to divert the fresh water streams which supplied the city, the water flowed with the creeks and kept them clean, so that the baymen could navigate the creeks. He alleges that at the present time from 38,000,000 to 40,000,000 gallons of water are converted daily from the creeks. He also says that the town of Hempstead offered to clean the creeks, if the city would give it $50,000. This offer, he says, was rejected.