Day 1013


October 8th, 2014

Wells in NYC? Given the city's plentiful supply of water from upstate reservoirs, I'm always a little surprised when I see a house with its own well.

Going off on a bit of a tangent, I've read that some matzo makers in the city have wells because they believe chemically treated municipal water cannot be used to make matzo. (Without treatment, however, some of the well water doesn't meet state water quality standards, which seems to suggest they shouldn't be making matzo with it.) Streit's, on the other hand, has long used city tap water to make its matzos — although perhaps not for much longer, as the company has decided to close its iconic factory on the Lower East Side and move its operations elsewhere.

After all the industrial activity that's taken place in the city over the years, you might assume the groundwater here would be too polluted to be usable, at least as drinking water. That's certainly true in many areas, but not all: local wells were used to supply drinking water to parts of southeastern Queens as recently as 2007, and they will be put into service again sometime around 2022 when the Delaware Aqueduct is shut down for several months so a new tunnel bypassing a leaky section can be connected to it. And while we're on the subject of wells, it's also worth noting that the non-NYC portion of Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk Counties) gets virtually all of its water from wells drilled into the island's aquifers.

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