FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 14-57
July 7, 2014
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Department of Environmental Protection Helps New Yorkers Stay Cool With Launch of Water-On-the-Go Season
Public Fountains Provide New Yorkers with an Easy, Healthy Way to Beat the Heat and Enjoy New York City’s Award Winning Tap Water
Flagship Locations at Brooklyn Bridge Park, City Hall and Union Square saw the Most Visitors and Greatest Amount of Water Consumed in 2013
New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd today announced the launch of the 2014 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 promote the high quality of NYC Water and to offer it as a healthier and environmentally responsible alternative to bottled water and sugary beverages. The Water-On-the-Go season runs from the first day of summer through Labor Day and last year nearly 600,000 people visited the fountains and consumed nearly 250,000 gallons of water. The fountains will be available seven days a week at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1 and Union Square, five days a week at City Hall, and will rotate amongst a number of other locations including Astoria Park, Battery Park, Bronx Borough Hall, Coney Island, Grand Army Plaza and Williamsburg. Click here for the full Water-On-the-Go schedule or to download the mobile app.
“With summer upon us, Water-On-the-Go fountains have been placed at busy areas around the city to help New Yorkers stay cool and beat the heat,” said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd. “In addition to providing a free, easy and healthy way to stay hydrated, the Water-On-the-Go program provides us with an opportunity to promote all that it takes to deliver a billion gallons of healthy drinking water to the city each day, as well as the importance of protecting our water supply.”
“It’s important to stay hydrated during the hot summer months,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. “There’s no better way to do this than with New York City water, which is clean, pure, and healthy. Not only that, it’s an affordable, great tasting, zero-calorie alternative to soda and sports drinks. Water on the Go brings NYC Water to popular summer locations, making it easier for New Yorkers to enjoy one of the healthiest natural resources in the City.”
Large bright blue NYC Water tents help the fountains stand out in busy public plazas and pedestrian areas. In addition, DEP has developed improved iPhone and Android Apps that 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 are conserved.
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, drinking tap water is the environmentally responsible way to stay hydrated as the production of plastic water bottles for use in the United States consumes 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. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with nearly $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. This capital program is responsible for critical projects like City Water Tunnel No. 3; the Staten Island Bluebelt program, an ecologically sound and cost-effective stormwater management system; the city’s Watershed Protection Program, which protects sensitive lands upstate near the city’s reservoirs in order to maintain their high water quality; and the installation of more than 820,000 Automated Meter Reading devices, which allow customers to track their daily water use, more easily manage their accounts and be alerted to potential leaks on their properties. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/nycwater.