FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16-57
June 17, 2016
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With Start of Summer on Monday, Department of Environmental Protection Helps New Yorkers Stay Hydrated with Launch of Water-On-the-Go
Public Fountains Provide New Yorkers with a Healthy, Environmentally-Friendly Way to Beat the Heat and Enjoy New York City’s Award Winning Tap Water
In Collaboration with Community Groups and Green Markets, Fountains will Appear in all Five Boroughs, Increasing the Reach of the Program
Photos From 2015 Season are Available on DEP’s Flickr Page
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced the launch of the 2016 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 an economical, healthy, and environmentally responsible alternative to bottled water and sugary beverages. The Water-On-the-Go fountains will be available at various locations around the city through Labor Day and are easily spotted with their accompanying bright blue NYC Water tents. A weekly schedule with detailed times and locations is available on the DEP website. NYC Water is world renowned for its taste and high quality, collected in protected reservoirs up to 125 miles north of the city and tested more than 500,000 times annually to ensure it is safe.
“With summer nearly upon us, Water-On-the-Go fountains have been placed in busy areas around the city to help New Yorkers stay cool and beat the heat,” said DEP Acting Commissioner Steven Lawitts. “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.”
“Staying hydrated is important, especially on hot days during the summer months,” said NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “The Department of Environmental Protection’s Water-On-The Go program provides a zero-calorie alternative to sugary soda and sports drinks. Instead, New Yorkers can quench their thirst with free, great tasting New York City water while out and about.”
This year, in addition to operating flagship locations such as Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1, Union Square and City Hall, DEP is coordinating with community groups and green markets to place fountains in other strategic locations in all five boroughs to expand the reach and accessibility of the program. In addition, Water-On-the-Go is collaborating with GreeNYC to support the B.Y.O. campaign, which promotes the use of reusable mugs, bottles and bags rather than their disposable counterparts. Diminishing the consumption of single use plastic bottles by encouraging New Yorkers to refill reusable bottles with tap water supports Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC Plan, including goals to send zero waste to landfills and reduce waste disposal by 90 percent by 2030.
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. At approximately one penny per gallon, tap water is about 1,000 times less expensive than bottled water. New York City is fortunate to be able to enjoy some of the best drinking water in the nation. Each day, approximately 1 billion gallons of fresh, clean water is delivered from upstate reservoirs—some more than 125 miles from the City—to the taps of more than 9 million customers throughout New York State. 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. In addition, DEP has a robust water quality monitoring program, testing the water at every step along its journey, from the streams that feed the reservoirs to the 1,000 sampling locations throughout the five boroughs. In total, DEP conducts more than 500,000 analyses of the water annually. To learn more about NYC Water, read the Annual Report here. NYC Water is also 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.
GreeNYC is New York City’s public education program dedicated to educating, engaging, and mobilizing New Yorkers to take simple, but meaningful, steps to reduce their energy use, generate less waste, and live more sustainable lifestyles. The “Bring Your Own” campaign is part of the GreeNYC initiative to promote living a less disposable life by encouraging the use of reusable mugs, bottles and bags rather than their disposable counterparts. This initiative is implemented by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and is part of “One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City,” the City’s comprehensive plan for a sustainable and resilient city that addresses social, economic, and environmental challenges of all New Yorkers. The plan sets measurable goals for tackling these challenges in the coming years—including sending zero waste to landfills and reducing waste disposal by 90 percent by 2030. To read the full plan, visit nyc.gov/onenyc.
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.5 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, or follow us on Twitter.