Most of us have noticed the thousands of wooden water tanks atop buildings throughout New York City. But why are they there? Well, the city’s gravity-fed water supply, which comes from upstate reservoirs can only get water to about six stories high. For a vertical city like New York this just will not do. So water was pumped to rooftop tanks. Each holds on average, 10,000 gallons. This water is used to maintain pressure to the upper floors for tenants and to assist firefighters. Just lets not put the fire out in Irwin Allen’s “TOWERING INFERNO” style.
It should be noted that these tanks are maintained mostly by two family-run companies, Rosenwach Group and Isseks Brothers, which both date to the 19th century.