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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE00-04

February 18, 2000

Contact: Geoff Ryan (DEP) 718/595-5371
Sandra Mullin (DOH) 212/788-5290

New 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.

 

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NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600