It Came From the Sewers

By lmrhody | January 30, 2014

This is the fourth in a series of posts on the records of Brooklyn’s Corporation Counsel, which are currently being processed with funding provided by a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) “Hidden Collections” grant.

One of the many modern amenities that we take for granted, along with paved roads, hot running water, and free public wi-fi, is the sewer system. In Brooklyn, the foundations of the sewer system were initiated in the 1850s, when the city established its first Board of Sewer Commissioners.  By the late 19th century, the city was rapidly constructing the modern, underground sewer system that still exists today.[1]  This was, of course, a good thing for most Brooklynites. The streets and local waterways were cleaner, and instances of diseases such as cholera were greatly reduced. Unfortunately, the sewers also tended to overflow during especially bad storms, much to the distress of local residents.

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