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SIX MILE WATERWORKS
Six Mile Waterworks is located in the glacial sand plains of Albany’s Pine Bush. Its prime attraction is Rensselaer Lake, a 43-acre manmade water body which once served as the City of Albany’s first municipally-owned drinking water supply.
In 2002, the Albany Water Department took over operations at Six Mile with an eye toward developing it into an emergency water supply should a catastrophic event befall the City’s current drinking water system. Engineering and environmental planning for a proposed emergency water supply are continuing.
Constructed in 1851, Rensselaer Lake was created when the City built a dam across the Patroon Creek, six miles west of Albany’s City Hall (thus the name, Six Mile Waterworks). Some 1.5 million gallons of water flowed by gravity from the new reservoir each day to Bleecker Reservoir, where Bleecker Stadium stands today. The new reservoir helped to spawn westward expansion of the City by supplying drinking water to those sections of Albany lying west of Pearl Street.
This was the first municipal water supply owned and operated by the City of Albany. Prior to 1850, a private company–the Albany Waterworks Company–tapped a number of sources to supply City residents with drinking water. At that time, the Maezlandt Kill, Middle Creek and Patroon Creek provided drinking water to the City. Many residents also relied upon private wells.
Today, Six Mile Waterworks is a recreational oasis offering fishing, hiking, picnicking and a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday City life. Tucked away in a tiny corner of the City, the 57-acre park has picnic tables, grills, expanded parking facilities and a sparkling new state-of-the-art playground facility. Rensselaer Lake is stocked several times each year with fish from the City’s Alcove Reservoir, said to be home to some of the biggest fish in the Capital District.
There is no charge for admission to the park or for use of the picnic facilities. Reservations and a fee may be required to reserve the pavillion. The park fronts on a section of Fuller Road between Washington Avenue and Central Avenue.