Catskill Aqueduct

Catskill Aqueduct

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The Catskill Aqueduct, part of the New York City water supply system, brings water from the Catskill Mountains
Catskill Mountains
The Catskill Mountains, an area in New York State northwest of New York City and southwest of Albany, are a mature dissected plateau, an uplifted region that was subsequently eroded into sharp relief. They are an eastward continuation, and the highest representation, of the Allegheny Plateau...

 to Yonkers where it connects to other parts of the system.

History


Construction commenced in 1907. The aqueduct proper was completed in 1916 and the entire Catskill Aqueduct system including three dams and 67 shafts was completed in 1924.The total cost of the aqueduct system was $177 million.

Specifications


The 163 miles (262.3 km) aqueduct consists of 55 miles (88.5 km) of cut and cover aqueduct, over 28 miles (45.1 km) of grade tunnel, 35 miles (56.3 km) of pressure tunnel, six miles (10 km) of steel siphon, and 39 miles (62.8 km) of conduit. The 67 shafts sunk for various purposes vary in depth from 174 to 1187 feet (361.8 m). Water flows by gravity through the aqueduct at a rate of about 4 feet per second (1.2 m/s).

The Catskill Aqueduct has an operational capacity of about 550 million USgals (2,081,976.6 m³) per day north of the Kensico Reservoir
Kensico Reservoir
The Kensico Reservoir is a reservoir, located in the village of Valhalla and in the town of North Castle, that was put into service in 1915. It is about 3 miles north of White Plains, New York, and about 15 miles north of New York City...

 in Valhalla, New York
Valhalla, New York
Valhalla is an unincorporated hamlet and census-designated place that is located within the town of Mount Pleasant, New York, in Westchester County. Its population was 3,162 at the 2010 U.S. Census...

. Capacity in the section of the aqueduct south of Kensico Reservoir to the Hillview Reservoir
Hillview Reservoir
The Hillview Reservoir is a storage reservoir in southeastern Yonkers, New York. It was built within a six-year period from 1909-1915 by the New York City Board of Water Supply to receive water from the newly-constructed Catskill Aqueduct, which drained water from the Ashokan Reservoir, and sent...

 in Yonkers, New York
Yonkers, New York
Yonkers is the fourth most populous city in the state of New York , and the most populous city in Westchester County, with a population of 195,976...

 is 880 million USgals (3,331,162.6 m³) per day. The aqueduct normally operates well below capacity with daily averages around 350–400 million USgals (1,514,164.8 m³) of water per day. About 40% of New York City's water supply flows through the Catskill Aqueduct.

Geography


It begins at the Ashokan Reservoir
Ashokan Reservoir
The Ashokan Reservoir is a reservoir in Ulster County, New York, USA. The reservoir is in the eastern end of the Catskill Park, and is one of several reservoirs created to provide the City of New York with water. However, it is one of only two reservoirs in the Catskill Watershed. It is also New...

 in Olivebridge, New York
Olivebridge, New York
Olivebridge is a hamlet in Ulster County, New York, United States, within Catskill Park and the Catskill Mountains.The community's name is sometimes written Olive Bridge, but the United States Board on Geographic Names gives the name as Olivebridge...

, in Ulster County
Ulster County, New York
Ulster County is a county located in the state of New York, USA. It sits in the state's Mid-Hudson Region of the Hudson Valley. As of the 2010 census, the population was 182,493. Recent population estimates completed by the United States Census Bureau for the 12-month period ending July 1 are at...

. It then heads south, flowing toward Orange County, New York
Orange County, New York
Orange County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. It is part of the Poughkeepsie–Newburgh–Middletown, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area and is located at the northern reaches of the New York metropolitan area. The county sits in the state's scenic Mid-Hudson Region of the Hudson Valley...

, and then crosses underneath the Hudson River
Hudson River
The Hudson is a river that flows from north to south through eastern New York. The highest official source is at Lake Tear of the Clouds, on the slopes of Mount Marcy in the Adirondack Mountains. The river itself officially begins in Henderson Lake in Newcomb, New York...

 to Putnam County, New York
Putnam County, New York
Putnam County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York, in the lower Hudson River Valley. Putnam county formed in 1812, when it detached from Dutchess County. , the population was 99,710. It is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. The county seat is the hamlet of Carmel...

. The aqueduct
Aqueduct
An aqueduct is a water supply or navigable channel constructed to convey water. In modern engineering, the term is used for any system of pipes, ditches, canals, tunnels, and other structures used for this purpose....

 transports water from Ashokan as well as the Schoharie Reservoir, which feeds into Ashokan. From the Ashokan, the aqueduct traverses in a southeasterly direction through Ulster, Orange, and Putnam counties. It crosses 1100 feet (335.3 m) below the Hudson River bed at Storm King Mountain in Orange county. It crosses into Putnam county on the east side of the river at Breakneck Mountain
Breakneck Ridge
Breakneck Ridge is a mountain along the Hudson River between Beacon and Cold Spring, New York, straddling the boundary between Dutchess and Putnam counties...

.

The aqueduct then enters Westchester County, New York
Westchester County, New York
Westchester County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. Westchester covers an area of and has a population of 949,113 according to the 2010 Census, residing in 45 municipalities...

, and flows to the Kensico Reservoir
Kensico Reservoir
The Kensico Reservoir is a reservoir, located in the village of Valhalla and in the town of North Castle, that was put into service in 1915. It is about 3 miles north of White Plains, New York, and about 15 miles north of New York City...

, which also receives water from the City's Delaware Aqueduct
Delaware Aqueduct
The Delaware Aqueduct is the newest of the New York City aqueducts. It takes water from the Rondout Reservoir through the Chelsea Pump Station, the West Branch Reservoir, and the Kensico Reservoir, ending at the Hillview Reservoir in Yonkers, New York....

. It continues from the Kensico reservoir and terminates at the Hillview Reservoir
Hillview Reservoir
The Hillview Reservoir is a storage reservoir in southeastern Yonkers, New York. It was built within a six-year period from 1909-1915 by the New York City Board of Water Supply to receive water from the newly-constructed Catskill Aqueduct, which drained water from the Ashokan Reservoir, and sent...

 in Yonkers. The Hillview Reservoir then feeds City Tunnels 1 and 2, which bring water to New York City. If necessary, water can be made to bypass both reservoirs.

See also

  • Delaware Aqueduct
    Delaware Aqueduct
    The Delaware Aqueduct is the newest of the New York City aqueducts. It takes water from the Rondout Reservoir through the Chelsea Pump Station, the West Branch Reservoir, and the Kensico Reservoir, ending at the Hillview Reservoir in Yonkers, New York....

  • New York City Water Supply System
  • Frank E. Winsor
    Frank E. Winsor
    Frank E. Winsor, civil engineer, was the chief engineer for the Boston Metropolitan District Water Supply Commission, now the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, from 1926 until his death in 1939 and was closely involved in the design and construction of Winsor Dam and Goodnough Dike which...

    the engineer in charge of construction of 32 miles (51.5 km) of the Aqueduct.