FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE00-04
Geoff Ryan (DEP) 718/595-5371
Sandra Mullin (DOH) 212/788-5290
York City Makes Water Supply Testing Results For Giardia and Cryptosporidium
Available on Web Site
New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner
Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E. and Department of Health (DOH) Commissioner Neal
L. Cohen, M.D. announced today that the results of the City's drinking
water source testing for Giardia and Cryptosporidium are
available on the Internet.
The protozoa Giardia and Cryptosporidium have received
increased national attention in recent years. These microorganisms cause
intestinal illnesses called giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis. Cryptosporidiosis
can be contracted various ways for example by eating contaminated
food, swallowing contaminated water while swimming, drinking contaminated
drinking water, and contact with fecal matter from animals and humans,
including during certain sexual practices. For persons with significantly
compromised immune systems, such as persons with HIV/AIDS, the infection
may lead to prolonged and possibly serious illness.
DEP Commissioner Miele said, "Sharing these test results is part
of the City's continuing effort to provide important public information
on line. We are proud to be among the first water suppliers in the nation
to maintain a Web site that offers Giardia and Cryptosporidium
monitoring data, along with other testing results that demonstrate the
high quality of New York City's drinking water."
DOH Commissioner Cohen said, "The DEP's announcement is a significant
step to let individual New Yorkers know about up-to-date results of our
ongoing water safety tests. In addition to DEP making this information
available on a regular basis, the DOH would immediately alert the medical
community and others, as appropriate, in the unlikely event that any water
quality tests indicate a public health risk."
Routine monitoring for Cryptosporidium and Giardia began
in 1992 as part of the City's comprehensive water supply watershed monitoring
program. Under this program, DEP collects and analyzes samples weekly
from three key locations before water enters the City's water distribution
system. Results have revealed infrequent observations of Giardia
and Cryptosporidium, and when present, the levels observed have
been low. Both current and historical data are included on DEP's Web site.
Information on Cryptosporidium and Giardia is available
on DEP's Web site at www.ci.nyc.ny.us/dep. Fact sheets on Giardia and
Cryptosporidium are available on DOH's Web site at www.ci.nyc.ny.us/doh.