Skip to Main Content

Skip To Search

The Official New York City WebsiteResidentsBusinessVisitorsGovernmentOffice of the always open

June 2002 - Capital Project of the Month


J. DOUGLAS NASH, RLA: Design Project Manager

THE RBA GROUP: Design Consultant

P.W. GROSSER CONSULTING: Hydrogeologist, P.C.

PROJECT INFORMATION: The aquifer system beneath southern Manhattan at Coleman's Oval, in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge, was used in colonial times to provide water for the population in this area. Now it is used by car washes and other non-potable uses in the area. Parks is taking this opportunity to tap into this aquifer as well as others to provide water for our parks and plants and reducing water usage from New York City's upstate reservoir system.

Diagram of well

Section of Well Diagram

Download Entire Diagram (PDF 679kb)

Utilizing boring information and well logs, some of which were over one hundred years old, within the boroughs of the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island, we identified areas that would yield groundwater. This contract will drill 5 wells in the following locations:

  • South Manhattan - Coleman's Oval
  • Northern Manhattan - Inwood Hill Park
  • Northern Bronx - Van Cortlandt Park
  • South Bronx - Crotona Park
  • Staten Island -Willowbrook Park.

The well depths are anticipated to range from 47 feet in Van Cortlandt Park to 320 feet in Inwood Hill Park. The gallons per minute are anticipated to range from 30-50 g.p.m. at Inwood Hill Park and Crotona Park to 50-100 g.p.m. at Coleman's Oval, Van Cortlandt Park and Willowbrook Park.

Wells at Crotona Park and Inwood Hill Park will be drilled into the bedrock beneath these sites. The bedrock in these areas consists of dolomite rock that can have numerous fractures and channels that transport water through the rock. Drilling into this bedrock water can be pumped out and used for irrigation. The Inwood Hill Park site will provide irrigation water to the parks in northern Manhattan, while the Crotona Park site will service the south Bronx. Water from the bedrock is rarely used in New York City although the use of low capacity bedrock wells is common in rural areas across the country.

Although the rain seemed to come as soon as the Emergency Well Contract was initiated, Parks will benefit for many, many years from the use of these five wells.

DESIGN SCHEDULE: The RFP process had a 24 hour turn-around period for Design Consultants to review the RFP and submit a proposal. The Design Development, from preliminary design; choosing the best well locations, to Contract Documents was completed in an incredibly short period of only 30 days.

Proposed Well Schedule

FUNDING: The project was funded by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

CONSTRUCTION SCHEDULE: It is planned for construction to be completed in an equally ambitious schedule with a duration of only 60 days.