FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE02-26
Contact: Geoff Ryan
York City Meets Federal Safety Regulations For Lead In Drinking Water
Commissioner Christopher O. Ward of the New York City Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) announced today that the City's Residential Lead in Drinking
Water program once again has successfully met all government standards.
"I am pleased to report that DEP's Citywide Lead in Drinking Water
program has met the federal guidelines for the fourth year in a row, which
ended on June 30, 2002," said Commissioner Ward.
New York City water is virtually lead-free when it is delivered from the
City's upstate reservoir system. However, water can absorb lead from solder,
fixtures and pipes in the plumbing of some buildings and homes. To minimize
absorption of lead from plumbing systems, DEP adds a corrosion control compound
and adjusts the water's pH. To monitor the effectiveness of corrosion control
efforts, the Department has been tracking lead levels in tap water taken from
selected homes around the City.
For people concerned that lead might be present in their drinking water,
the Department also instituted a comprehensive public education program that
lists simple steps they can take to reduce the possibility of lead in drinking
water. For instance, before using water that has been standing in pipes for
more than six hours, people may flush the cold-water tap for 30 seconds to
two minutes until the water turns cold; and, because hot water is more apt
to leach lead from plumbing than cold water, people should only use water
from the cold water tap for cooking, drinking and preparing baby formula.
Consumers of water in the City may request a free kit to test for lead in
drinking water by calling 718-DEP-HELP (718-337-4357). Additional information
is available from the federal Environmental Protection Agency's Safe Drinking
Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.