Listen: New York City, TAP, Croton Reservoir discussed on Stuff You Should Know
"Hey and welcome to the podcast. I'm Josh Clark there's Charles will be Bryant. There's guest producer Andrew stuff you should know. Let's get busy. I'm excited about this. One this was your your pick. I was like what is chuck talking about where you really yes. And then chuck. I happened to stumble upon. I don't know what I was. I was looking for but an email from somebody who sent like a Google docker something. That's that was a list of episodes. We said we should do. And people have set those in before but this one was kind of condensed in that was on there. So I've I've stumbled upon your dirty little secret. I don't think that's where I got it. It really I don't think so but maybe okay I just know that I Always fascinated by not only New York City but by the fact that New York City functions with that many people and all that everything. It's just amazing to me that that city functions with that many people that many buildings that like I want to do an episode on out trash removal. Okay I WANNA do one on the Mail on wastewater treatment. Yeah Oh yeah New York in general. It's been long brewing. Are you okay with that. Yeah just just I mean we can mention New York or whatever. Big thanks to Dave's though One of our great writers. They put this together and it's really really fascinating days. Just an amazing human. He's all of our writers are amazing amazing for sure. Dave is great as well. He's one of a few select amazing right so the reason why New York why anybody would would ask about. New York's water is because if you've ever interacted with the New Yorker. They talk about their water a lot. It's like kind of a thing in New York where they're like are tap water's the best water in the country and they have like a lot of Stuff to back that up with and so much so that that that they say this this water is actually the reason why are bagels in our pizzas so good yes. I was We were both here for our final shows of the year at the Bell House. Thanks right people people who came out. Yes they were great a lot of fun and by the way the guy that fell asleep on the front row on night number two I think number two. I was walking on the street and he randomly passed by driving in a car and roll down his window and said hey man he's a great show the other night right waiting for him to say is that freedom rock and as it. Thanks Dude I was like front row and he was so excited that I remembered. That's an he said front row and he drove on before. I had a chance to say you fell asleep. He's like I feel like I was there. Maybe I felt like a dream. I don't know but We were just there and There are many many restaurants in New York where there will be like a water cooler. Replace where you can help yourself to your own cup of water and it will have a big sign on it. That says New York City Tap. Water and proud. ALL CAPS underlined underlined letters. Yeah and they mean like they're just getting water out of the TAP whereas in other cities that the dirty shameful secret that people don't talk about it's right in in New York they proudly boasts about it and Just the fact that New York or any New Yorker in the city gets water water at all is pretty spectacular. It's like you said there's a lot of people there's a lot of buildings and something like more than a billion gallons of water flow into New York through the taps every day. Yeah I said day with the D.. Yes it is the largest water system in the United States People from from all over the world Government officials fly in and taking meetings with the New York City. Water people just to see like how have you done it. They're just a dog. Could we do better. So so. That's impressive enough. that a billion more than a billion gallons of water is delivered every day to New Yorkers pretty great but the idea that you can just drink straight from the tap and it is ninety percent unfiltered food. Yeah that is a truly impressive feat. Yeah and by ninety percent unfiltered we mean. Ninety percent of the water is unfiltered and ten in percent is filtered right and you might say how can you just filter ninety percent of water. Well it comes from different places try so ninety percent of the water comes from two places to watersheds that combined are called the catskill Delaware watershed or water system. I think And then the other one from the Crow Croton you always want to say crotone. Yeah but from the CROTON reservoir that ten percent is actually filtered. We'll get into all of that. But ninety percent of New York's ORCS water is not. It doesn't go through a filtering process. And that makes New York one of only five major cities in the United States to get away from the EPA okay that says your waters so deliciously pure in delightful that you don't need to filter it. Almost every other city has to have a filtering process before it gets delivered to taps. That's right and the other four naturally Seattle Portland Oregon San Francisco The one that's a bit of a surprise as Boston Massachusetts who sits war. That's that's it. That's how surprising it as chuck. Yeah that's right so let's talk a little bit about the history of New York in their water because back in the day we've always talked about how what a Disgusting Disease Ridden Poop in Horse. Urine ridden place. New York City was yeah like supposedly is a good twelve inches of horse manure on the street at all times before they Before they really started cleaning their place up yeah. It's pretty bad. But I think that was in the wind cries typhoid Mary episode which is a great one. Another great New York episode. So we're talking new Amsterdam Pre New York City They got water where you would think from ponds and natural springs on springs and they had a forty eight acre pond. It's about sixty feet deep In tribeca what is now tribeca called the the collect and also the little collect that was just south of there and that name comes from the Dutch word caulk Which means small body of water and the collect was where they got the water for a long time until the city let Some Tanner's built a tannery on the shores of the collect not smart new which ruined everything. Yeah because it started had to get polluted they also were able to drill wells and stuff around places where people pooped impede and dumped their poop and pee It was a in dirty dirty place because this is pre germ theory or at least around the time. The germ theory was being developed and people understand it And I think it was our great stink episode where they trace the cholera epidemic to a public. Well A public water pump. Jon Snow if I remember correctly did that and this would have been around the time. That New Yorkers were suffering from cholera epidemics one of which took place in the eighteen thirties. Eighteen thirty two. It killed thirty. Five hundred new New Yorkers and that was a substantial amount of of the population at the time. Another hundred thousand New Yorkers had to flee just to get away from this caller Academic Yeah and it was because their sewage and their water was coexisting in very unhealthy way. So New York said maybe we should try something else else. Let's look a little further outside the city where we're dumping our waste and everything and see if we can get our water from there and they did. They built the Croton Reservoir. They dammed the river in reservoir collected and they said now we have some beautiful pure water. We will never need to do anything again to get our water. That's right Previous to that though in the eighteenth century they had had These public pumps like you were talking about on street corners about every four blocks or so a big wooden pump where you would get your water from Under Brown Underground streams springs and stuff. But there are only a few of these that actually delivered goodwater a lot of it was really brackish and gross tasting and Americans and early European settlers obviously love their tea and so they've marked. This is almost like an early yelp or whatever they had these. He's pumps that actually delivered the the two or three good pumps in the city the delivered goodwater labeled t water."