The Croton River (// KROH-tən) is a river in southern New York that begins where the East and West Branches of the Croton River meet a little way downstream from the Croton Falls Reservoir. Shortly downstream, the Croton River, along with its tributary, the Muscoot River, flow into the Muscoot Reservoir, and after flowing through that, it empties into the New Croton Reservoir, which feeds the New Croton Aqueduct supplying water to New York City. Excess water leaves the spillway at the New Croton Dam, and finally empties into the Hudson River at Croton-on-Hudson, New York at Croton Point, about 30 miles north of New York City. The river has a watershed area of 361 square miles.
Seeking to expand New York City's water supply, engineers of the city Aqueduct Commission designed in 1884 a 275 – 300 ft. high masonry dam spanning the Croton River near its mouth. The resulting storage reservoir, empounding a 16 square mile (25.6 km²) watershed, would hold 14.2 billion US gallons (54,000,000 m3) at full capacity. The Croton Falls Dam was placed into service in 1911.
In the 1890s, rather than resorting to expensive filtration, New York City ordered the destruction or relocation of any village or hamlet threatening to pollute the Croton or its tributaries. Many were moved.
The Croton remains an important part of the City's water supply today.
- Institution of Civil Engineers (Great Britain) (1901). Minutes of proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers. The Institution. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
- Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers. American Society of Civil Engineers. 1912. p. 163. Retrieved 24 October 2011.