New York City in the United States is known for its iconic tap water. The public water of the city is regularly maintained and monitored by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) – a department that is responsible for ensuring that the citizens of New York have access to safe and clean water.
However, it is said that, New York water supply lines are too old (suffering from corrosion), increasing the chances of water contamination. This is why most homeowners have started questioning whether New York tap water is still totally safe to drink or not.
If you are one who also has the same question, then you have landed on the right webpage. In this Frizzlife blog, we are going to figure out whether New York’s tap water is still safe to consume.
Also, read our blog about Explanation of US Safe Drinking Water Act
The Background of New York Tap Water
In order to figure out whether the city’s tap water is safe or not, you first have to understand the background of tap water.
New York’s tap water comes from the Catskill/Delaware watershed system – which is a vast area located outside the side. It provides consistent water to the entire city.
But remember, before reaching the homes, the water undergoes extensive treatment processes by local water suppliers to ensure its maximum safety. The treatment process uses a number of techniques such as:
· Filtration of water
· pH level adjustment
These techniques remove bacteria and some other contaminants (but not all contaminants) from the water.
Moreover, the city’s tap water is monitored and maintained by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The department ensures the tap water that is going into the homes of the public from local water suppliers totally meets the water purification standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
So…Is New York Tap Water Safe to Drink?
The answer is almost “Yes.” New York tap water is generally considered safe to drink. This is so because, the city follows extensive water treatment processes that ensure that water is totally safe from major toxic impurities or contaminants like bacteria.
However it is important to note that, due to old water supply lines, there is a strong chance that the tap water may not be 100% safe from impurities and contaminants. The purification techniques followed by local suppliers do not remove all contaminants such as chemicals, viruses, sediment, heavy metals, etc.
Apart from old water supply lines, New York’s tap water can also become contaminated due to occasional instances. Some of the major occasional instances are discussed below:
· Industrial pollution: Industries that are located near the water sources in New York can release harmful contaminants or impurities into the environment. And there is a strong chance that these impurities or contaminants can get their way into the water supply through runoff or some other means.
· Natural occurring: Natural disasters such as floods, storms, and earthquakes can greatly disrupt water treatment facilities and sources. This will give an opportunity for the toxic contaminants to enter into and end up polluting the water sources.
· Human error: Human error is the final occasional instance through which New York tap water can become contaminated. Human error during the water treatment process can also result in water contamination. For instance, the employees working at water treatment plants in New York may make mistakes in chemical dosing, or equipment malfunction, resulting in polluted water for the public.
Due to these, experts recommend the citizens of the city take precautions on your behalf as well to ensure you are drinking clean and safe water.
How You Can Treat Tap Water on Yourself for Extra Safety
There are a number of ways through which you can efficiently treat tap water to make totally safe from impurities and contaminants. Some of the most simple ones are discussed below:
Boiling tap water is the most traditional way to make it safe for drinking. Boiling tap water for several minutes (5-10 min) will kill bacteria and microorganisms in it.
However, it is important to note that if your tap water is contaminated with certain impurities like sediment, viruses, and metals, then boiling it will not remove them.
2. Use water filtration system:
The citizens of New York can install water filtration systems in their homes to efficiently treat tap water that is coming from the local authorities. Water filters are highly accurate at eliminating a number of contaminants from the water. The contaminants include bacteria, heavy metals, chemicals, sediment, etc.
Apart from removing contaminants, the filters also improve the overall taste and odor of the tap water, making it more enjoyable to drink.
3. Use water purification tablets:
Water purification tablets can help you to further purify tap water that is coming into your home. These tablets are easily available in your near market. The tablets are usually made up of chemicals like chlorine, iodine, etc. These can effectively disinfect the polluted tap water.
However, do not forget to follow the manufacturer's instructions provided with the tablets for proper usage. Also, pay attention to the manufacturing and expiration date of the tablets.
So, these are some of the ways that you can consider adopting to treat the tap water on your behalf for added safety.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is New York tap water treatment for maximum safety?
Yes, the New York tap water is efficiently treated with chlorine and other disinfectants to ensure it is completely safe to consume. After treating, the water is then transferred into the homes of the people.
Are there concerns left regarding tap water quality even after treatment?
Yes, there are still chances, even after treatment, that the tap water may get polluted with toxic impurities when it flows through the corroded water supply lines. That’s it; it is recommended to treat your home’s water on your behalf as well, either by boiling or through a water filter.
New York is safe to drink because it is efficiently treated by water suppliers to remove contaminants like bacteria, before transferring to the public. The good thing is that, water is regularly monitored by government authorities to ensure it is meeting the required quality standards.