FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE03-37
York City Meets Federal Standards For Lead In Drinking Water For The Fifth
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 fifth year in a row,"
said Commissioner Ward. “However, City residents should still be
aware that while the water is delivered lead-free, some homes in the City
still have lead in their plumbing. Have the water in your home tested
for lead. It’s free and it’s important for your health.”
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 the City’s new 24-hour help line at
311. Additional information is available from the federal Environmental
Protection Agency's Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791.