Lost rivers, buried creeks, and disappeared streams
December 14, 2017 11:20 AM   Subscribe

Hidden Hydrology is an occasional blog that investigates the history of disappearing and disappeared examples of water-based topology and infrastructure in urban settings. A recent post, The Water in the Wood, looks at the use of wooden water and sewer pipes in 19th century cities.
posted by carter (10 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
The amount of hidden rivers and streams under cities has always been really cool.

Article on lost rivers of London. List of subterranean rivers of London.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:47 AM on December 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Hidden streams of Philadelphia
posted by sepviva at 12:08 PM on December 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

This immediately went into my RSS feed...
posted by jim in austin at 12:19 PM on December 14, 2017

This is really interesting. I'm fascinated by the lost rivers in London, and it was really interesting to see the same thing in other cities. Especially the wooden water pipes - I've seen very similar ones on the Thames foreshore at low tide, just below the Globe Theatre. The ones over here were always elm, which is very resistant to rotting in water (it also used to be used for coffins), so it was interesting to see what woods the American equivalents used. Is hickory also resistant to rotting, or did they just use what they had to hand?
posted by Fuchsoid at 12:32 PM on December 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Seattle just recently dug up/replaced some cedar pipes (for outfall) - cedar is remarkably resistant to rot, and it blows me away that wooden pipes could be around for so long. Bonus: they don't poison you the way iron pipes might.
posted by dbmcd at 1:27 PM on December 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

Seattle dug up and replaced wooden water pipes under a street I was living on ~25 years ago; I was told they were elm.

The best tap water by a mile that I ever tasted came out of a wooden pipe distribution system on Mount Hood -- and according to The Sea Remembers, ancient Greeks preferred elmwood above all others for the parts of ships that were always below the water line.
posted by jamjam at 1:48 PM on December 14, 2017

That LIDAR blog post is phenomenal
posted by Annika Cicada at 5:41 PM on December 14, 2017

All hail Arethusa!
posted by Captain l'escalier at 3:47 AM on December 15, 2017

Sydney representing.
posted by unliteral at 5:51 AM on December 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Nice find! There's a ton of great stuff here. (Here's a direct link to the Water in the Wood entry, for future searchers.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:34 PM on January 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

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