New York City Water Quality: Yesterday
Almost since it’s inception, New York City has used a complex system of aqueducts to transport water from outside the city to its residents. Prior to the 1830s, water was distributed through hollow logs laid in the streets, leaving the water exposed to the dirt, grime, and contaminants of city life. In the 1830s, the city switched to cast iron pipes to bring in water from the Croton River. The Old Croton Aqueduct was built in the 1830s to provide water to over 60,000 residents of New York City. Check out the video below to learn more about the Old Croton Aqueduct.
By the early 1900s, New York City residents needed more water and city officials turned to the waters of the Catskill Mountain region. Almost as soon as the Catskill Aqueduct was finished in 1927, city officials started development of the Delaware Aqueduct, which pulls water from the headwaters and tributaries of the Delaware River in New York State.