FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 13-71
June 21, 2013
Chris Gilbride/ Ted Timbers (718) 595-6600
Department of Environmental Protection Marks Beginning of Summer with Launch of 2013 Water-On-the-Go Program
During Launch Event 1,000 Reusable NYC Water Bottles Were Distributed;
DEP Aims to Reach One Million Drinkers This Summer Doubling Last Year’s Record Season
New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Carter Strickland today marked the start of summer by kicking off the 2013 Water-On-the-Go Program. Since 2010, DEP has placed portable NYC Water drinking fountains at public plazas, busy pedestrian areas, and parks around the city during the summer months to educate New Yorkers and visitors about the high quality of NYC Water and to promote tap water as an alternative to bottled water or sugary beverages. Last year, more than 500,000 people visited DEP’s Water-On-the-Go fountains, and this summer DEP aims to reach one million drinkers. At today’s kick-off event at City Hall Park in Manhattan, DEP distributed 1,000 reusable NYC Water bottles along with bracelets, pens, stickers, and other giveaways to promote drinking tap water.
“Our Water-On-the-Go fountains have become an iconic part of summertime in New York City,” said Commissioner Strickland. “In addition to providing a spot for folks to have a drink and cool off on hot days, the Water-On-the-Go program provides us with an opportunity to educate people about what it takes to deliver a billion gallons of healthy drinking water to the city each day, and how important protecting our water supply is.”
“Your body needs more fluids during the summer months,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “There’s no better way to stay hydrated than with New York City water, which is clean, pure, and healthy. Water on the Go brings NYC Water to popular summer locations, making it easier for New Yorkers to make healthier choices.”
“Parks is pleased to partner with DEP in launching Water-On-the-Go, ensuring that New York City drinking water remains easily available and accessible,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White. “Park visitors will continue to benefit from this additional way to stay hydrated in a free and sustainable way when outdoors enjoying the summer season.”
This year’s Water-On-the-Go Program has been improved to make the fountains more visible and accessible. Large bright blue NYC Water tents will help the fountains stand out in busy public plazas and pedestrian areas. In addition, DEP has developed improved iPhone and Android Apps that will provide New Yorkers and the millions of tourists who visit the city with easy access to the Water-On-the-Go schedule. Finally, DEP has installed automated meter reading devices on all of the fountains which will allow the department to track how much water is consumed as well as determine how many plastic bottles were conserved. To find the Water-On-the-Go fountain nearest to you download the App or visit www.nyc.gov/dep.
NYC Water is internationally renowned for its quality. New York City is one of only five large cities in the country permitted to run a largely unfiltered drinking water supply, due in large part to the City’s comprehensive watershed protection programs. DEP performs more than 1,000 daily tests of the city’s drinking water taken from nearly 1,000 sampling locations throughout the five boroughs. This is in addition to the 225,000 tests performed annually throughout the watershed. NYC Water is a healthy alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages, containing zero calories, zero sugar, and zero fat. A typical 16-ounce bottle of soda contains about 180 calories and 20 cubes of sugar. Sports drinks, marketed as healthy alternatives, have as many calories as sugary beverages and usually contain high levels of sodium. NYC Water is also affordable—at roughly one penny per gallon, it is approximately 1,000 times less expensive than bottled water. In addition, NYC Water helps promote the efforts of PlaNYC, Mayor Bloomberg’s sustainability blueprint for the city; production of plastic water bottles for use in the United States uses 1.5 million barrels of oil a year—enough to power 250,000 homes or 100,000 cars all year.
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $14.4 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/nycwater.