Gowanus Boat 3-23-2014NYC boat, maybe in the Gowanus.  Watercolor on 140 1/2 sheet Arches coldpress
NYC claims to have some of the best drinking water in all the land, which might be true—until it reaches the city. Then it’s stored in tanks that haven’t been inspected or cleaned in years. Here are some of the yucky bits that appeared in the NYTimes article:
    • There are thick layers of muddy sediment in the tanks
    • Even some that are routinely maintained contain E. coli (a microbe carried in the feces of mammals and birds)
    • Dr. Stephen C. Edberg, a public-health microbiologist at Yale University who invented the now-standard test for bacterial contamination in drinking water, was so alarmed by the results that he immediately alerted the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
    • Building owners are not required to submit proof to the city that cleanings and inspections have been conducted, as they do for elevator and boiler inspections. Until recently, they did not have to provide evidence of the inspections to their tenants.
    • Another potential concern is the use of an epoxy called Sea Goin’ Poxy Putty, which is not approved for use in drinking water, a violation of the city’s health code.
    • One day he found a pigeon bone in the strainer of a resident’s kitchen faucet.
    • Tank cleaning companies have an inventory of stories about finding dead birds, mice and animal droppings. One cleaner discovered a homeless person living in the attic space between a tank cover and the roof.

I still drink the tap water.

And apropos of nothing, the water itself is not Kosher because of copepods found in the water!  I’m not kosher or even Jewish, but now I always check my water to see if I can see those little critters floating around.  (So far I haven’t seen a thing.)  Still, with all of this info, you can’t beat our bagels.  And why?  Because they are boiled in NYC water.  Maybe the copepods give them some extra flavor?

Speaking of water, the Gowanus is still a filthy, polluted superfund site.  I remember when I first moved into my current apartment I would hear fog horns late at night.  Those were from the boats passing through the canal.  I have no idea what this boat would be used for on the canal, but I thought it looked cool and colorful.  I used artistic license and made the water look cleaner than it actually is.  I was going to put a little water tower far in the background in the upper left corner.  I still may.  But for now it’s done.