News from the Columbia Climate School

A Cistern in NYC – Yes!

151 W. 122nd Street, NYC
151 W. 122nd Street, NYC

A cistern is not what you would expect to find in a NYC house; however, a brownstone in our backyard has its own rainwater collection cistern.

The brownstone, billed as the “Greenest House in NYC” and the first residential property in Manhattan to receive the coveted LEED certification, was recently highlighted in Good Housekeeping Magazine.

The system collects rainwater from the roof and funnels it to a 325 gallon cistern located in the basement. The water is then used for the outdoor landscaping. The system was designed by the owner and cost approximately $3.5K.

Unfortunately, the system does not provide water for the toilets – New York City does not currently allow rainwater to be used for this purpose.

If you’re interested in taking a look, view the Open House schedule – the house is currently listed for sale through Warburg Realty.

Further Reading:

Science for the Planet: In these short video explainers, discover how scientists and scholars across the Columbia Climate School are working to understand the effects of climate change and help solve the crisis.
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