Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Dr Livingstone I Presume?

Stony Brook Reservation, outflow pipes from Washington street 2007.

Outflow conduit from under Harvard street

Bridge at old Mattapan Hospital site.

Bridge, facing east.

Orange gunk - your guess is as good as mine.

Today I finished my search for the headwaters of the great river Stony. In an earlier entry, I showed that the origin of Bussey Brook at the West Roxbury Parkway is two stormwater outflow pipes. I can add the origins of two more sources of Stony Brook today.

The first picture above shows two outfall pipes, numbers 031 and 033 of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission, at the west end of Stony Brook Reservation. The pipes come from under Washington street just south of Lagrange street, and the water then flows under Enneking Parkway and into the Reservation, where it eventually drains into Turtle Pond when levels are high enough.

Picture #2 is from the old Mattapan hospital site, on the north side of Morton street. It shows the old storm drain that empties into the property from under Harvard street. Pictures #3 and 4 show a bridge on the property that once handled traffic that approached the hospital from the Morton street entrance.

Picture #3 looks east towards Harvard street, and #4 looks back downstream. Note the chain link fence screen that is hung by chains from the bridge over the channel. There is trash everywhere in the channel and along the banks, so evidently someone made an attempt to block the trash from getting downstream. Nice try. Unfortunately, the channel through to Walk Hill street is littered with paper and plastic trash up and over the banks.

Finally, #5 shows orange gunk coming out of a small pipe in the side of the channel. It's pure guesswork, but I suspect that it once emptied from a hospital building. It almost looks like rust - maybe an old cast iron pipe? - but I didn't get close enough to check. I'd need rubber gloves to do any exploring like that.

So now I think I've covered it. As far as I can determine, the old Roslindale branch is entirely covered. Bussey, Canterbury and the main channel are all fed by city storm drains. Isn't that lovely? First there was a tidal trout stream, then a typhoid threat, a flood threat and finally a storm drain. Such is progress.

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