Collection of the Philadelphia Water Company and installed at the Philadelphia Waterworks Interpretive Center. 1990. 10’ x 22’ x 24” Galvanized pipe, porcelain sinks, running water, sandblasted glass.
Schuylkill means "hidden river" in Dutch. The hidden river is also the lengths of plumbing which runs though our houses carrying treated water to the taps and toilets. Four sinks, each representing the cities which get their primary drinking water from the Schuylkill are hung on the wall in scale to each city’s elevation, and etched with the name of the city it represents. The plumbing which connects each sink is an accurate map of the Schuylkill river from its headwaters to its mouth at point Girard on the Delaware river. Each upstream sink is connected by its drain pipe to the downstream sink’s cold water tap: a translation of the fact that the Schuylkill has been drunk three times before Philadelphia fills its glasses. The water in the sculpture circulates through all the sinks and back up to the headwaters, filling the the room with sounds of running water and reminding us hat our drinking water is only borrowed and then returned to the system.