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The New York City skyline is filled with water tanks. Few people know they hold our drinking water. Do you know what you're drinking? Read more

New York, NY Documentary
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on February 28, 2014.

The New York City skyline is filled with water tanks. Few people know they hold our drinking water. Do you know what you're drinking?

New York, NY Documentary
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About this project

This Just In!

You can own one of these amazing water tank replicas with your support starting at the $20 and $50 reward levels!

Generously provided by Boundless Brooklyn!
Generously provided by Boundless Brooklyn!

$20 - You get "The Mini" Brooklyn Water Tower Model Kit + Premium access to the Water Tower in high definition! 

$50 - You get "The Mega" Brooklyn Water Tower Model Kit + Bonus features including exclusive footage and interviews that didn't make it into the final cut + Premium access to the Water Tower in high definition!

$100 or above - You get your choice of "The Mini" or "The Mega" Brooklyn Water Tower Model Kit + Limited-Edition Water Tower Poster AND a DVD including the film and Bonus Features!

*A HUGE thank you to David and Terence at Boundless Brooklyn for their support!

The story

If you live in New York City, you probably drink water that comes from weathered, wooden water tanks. Thousands of tanks are perched on apartments and office buildings across the city.  

The problem is that the majority of these drinking water tanks are not properly cleaned or inspected. When we took our own independent water samples, we found that several tanks were contaminated with E. coli.

Water Tower takes you up to the rooftops and into the tanks themselves. We question public officials and discover what happens when a city of millions relies on the goodwill of their landlords to protect their water quality.

The New York Times investigation

Halfway through filming, we contacted The New York Times and they agreed to work with us on an article and a video brief of our documentary, which was just published.

The Times published some of the basic facts we uncovered, but if we can fund the rest of this project, you'll see that we reveal even more in the documentary!  

Check it out: http://nyti.ms/1jVqCLs

 We still need some funding to complete our documentary.

What we need

We're nearly finished, but can't release the film until we enlist the help of talented post-production professionals. We believe this is an important story that deserves to be told the best way we can tell it.

We need to pay for music licenses, sound design, color correction, and fine editing. And once we've got a final cut, we'll need some promotional funds.

Frank talks about sediment with a water tank cleaner
Frank talks about sediment with a water tank cleaner

The problem

The rooftop barrels have been part of the drinking water distribution system since the late 1800s and help boost the natural pressure provided by the city's aqueduct system. New York officials claim that the city has some of the best tap water. They spent billions of dollars to ensure reservoirs, aqueducts, and water mains deliver fresh, clean water.

But the problem is...city landlords are responsible for keeping the tanks clean. The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's reports show most landlord's do not comply with the law.

Andre, a veteran tank man, descends after cleaning an old water tank
Andre, a veteran tank man, descends after cleaning an old water tank

How you can help

Donate to the project. Whether it's $5, $20 or $2,000 (Or more! Thank you!) every little bit helps. Remember, Kickstarter is all or nothing. We need to meet our $7,500 goal to finish the documentary and get the story out there.

Frank takes notes with Steven Silver of American Pipe and Tank
Frank takes notes with Steven Silver of American Pipe and Tank

Risks and challenges

We're so close to completing this film! After more than two years of investigation, we're about 90% there and just need a little funding to push it over the finish line.

Challenges might include finding folks who can help us with post-production, haggling with music license holders for an affordable price, and general logistics of getting a film released in a timely manner.

I hope you'll help support independent journalism by donating and sharing our link around the web. Thanks in advance!

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FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    5 backers

    We're journalists, so we understand what it's like to not have very much money. That said, we will publish the name of every person that gives at least $1 on our website as a supporter!

    Help us bring this important story to the public and support independent journalism!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    13 backers

    You'll have password-only access to the film online, so that you can watch and share the film online, anytime you like!

    ...AND your name published on our website as a supporter!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    26 backers

    Premium access to the Water Tower in high definition! You will have password-only access to view the film online anytime AND the ability to download the HD film anytime.

    ...AND everything above!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    6 backers

    Bonus features including exclusive footage and interviews that didn't make it into the final cut.

    ...AND everything above!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    8 backers

    Limited-Edition Water Tower Poster AND a DVD including the film and Bonus Features!

    ...AND everything above!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    7 backers

    Your name in the credits!

    "Funding Generously Provided By

    "

    ...AND everything above!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    3 backers Limited (17 left of 20)

    Photography tour of New York City's water tanks! Guided by Frank and featuring some of the best vistas of those weathered wooden icons the city has to offer.

    ...AND everything above!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    Rooftop dinner and discussion with the filmmakers. You can ask any lingering questions you have about the documentary or water tanks amongst the tanks themselves!

    ...AND everything above!

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)