HISTORY OF BROOKLYN. 589
PART V. WATER AND DRAINAGE.1
RIDGEWOOD WATER WORKS.2
Brooklyn derives its water supply front the watershed of Long Island, formed by the irregular ridge of low hills, which extends from the bay of New York to tile eastern extremity of the island at Montauk point. On the south side of this ridge, towards the Atlantic, the slopes of the hill lose themselves in a gravel plain, which inclines gently to the coast. This plain, whose widest part is called Hempstead Plains, interposes a distance of five to fifteen miles between the foot of the hill slopes and the Atlantic shore. Numerous small brooks, originating oil the south slopes of the main ridge, cross tile gravel plain referred to and deliver their waters into the
1 In the compilation of this sketch we have availed ourselves of tile succinct and admirable history published by Mr. Wm. G. Bishop, clerk Of the city, in the Common Council Manual of 1858 and 1859; and, also, of the splendid quarto descriptive of the Brooklyn Water Works, prepared and printed by order of the Board of Water Coinmissions in 1867.
2 History of the Water Works. The first movement towards procuring a permanent supply of water for Brooklyn was made in 1834, the year of its incorporation as a city, when it contained only tewnty-tree thousand inhabitants. Gabriel Furman and James Walters, a committee appointed for the purpose, reported March, 1834, in favor of sinking wells at the base of Fort Greene, pumping the water obtained from them to a reservoir on top of the hill, thence to be distributed throughout the city, at an estimated cost of $100,000, with an annual expense of $10,000. Their report was not acted upon; and, although the subject was frequently agutated, was no formal action was taken until 1847, when the population had trebled in size. In December of that year, a special committee (D. A. Bokee, John Stansbury and J. W. Cochran), submitted to the common council, as their report, the opinion of Major D. B. Douglass (the distinguished engineer of the Croton Works of New York), recommending the tapping of the main spring, existing everywhere beneath the surface of the island by means of monster wells somewhere near the south-east base of the Flatbush hills, or elsewhere on the flat district between the hills and the ocean. The plan was, at this time, also broached of arranging with New York for a share of her then recently obtained Croton water supply, by laying pipes across the East river; but the natural and very proper reluctance on the part of that city to permit anything which would endanger the certainty and permanency of their own supply, very soon caused the