Leaky water tower at NYU–Poly

Water fall! Leaky tower leaves NYU–Poly wet, Brooklyn Paper newsroom shocked

The Brooklyn Paper
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NYU-Poly added a new field of study to its engineering curriculum this week — water tower maintenance.

The wooden tank on the roof of the school’s MetroTech campus sprang a series of leaks shortly after noon on Friday, sending a shower of water cascading onto the building’s roof.

And it couldn’t have happened at a better place, school sources say.

“This is a fine engineering school here,” said Kathlen Hamilton, director of marketing and communications at the school. “There’s nothing we can’t fix.”

The gushing streams appeared along a horizontal line near the middle of the water tower on the roof of 6 MetroTech Center — and stunned the staff at The Brooklyn Paper’s MetroTech newsroom, which is located at eye level with the leaky rooftop cistern, across the way.

Reporters and editors who know nothing about water tower theory and maintenance sprang into action, taking photos of the rooftop waterfall and frantically Googling for experts in the field.

When sources at the Williamsburg water tower-maker Rosenwach Co. confirmed our suspicions that such tanks are not supposed to emit spouts of water, staff journalists contacted the school.

A representative for NYU–Poly said an issue with a sensor in the reservoir allowed the water level inside to dwindle so much that the wooden tank warped, causing leaks to spring between the planks.

However, engineers at the school were able to fix the broken sensor and are currently refilling the water tower in the hopes that the wood will warp once again, this time back to its original, water-tight condition, school sources said.

“We fixed the sensor, we’re filling it up again, and the wood should expand back to normal,” Hamilton said. “It should stop leaking as soon as that happens.”

As of publication time, the amount of water leaking from the tower had diminished to a trickle, as real rain began falling in Brooklyn.

— with Ben Muessig, Vince DiMiceli, Natalie O’Neill, Will Bredderman, Danielle Furfaro, Eli Rosenberg, and two interns.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4514.
Updated 5:34 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

hb from fort greene says:
Nice--the antique wooden tank held up and the undoubtedly 'new' sensor gave out...I love old construction ;)--HB
July 20, 2012, 6:15 pm
Spencer K from Clifton, NJ says:
Who said it was antique? Most water tanks are made of wood. They're easier to replace and disassemble at 6 stories or higher.
July 21, 2012, 12:37 pm

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