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August 10, 2005

Contact: DEP (718) 595-6600
DOH (212) 676-1520

Important Information About Your Drinking Water System

Starting on November 29 th, 2004 through the first three months of 2005, there were periods when a redundant (back-up) chlorine feed line servicing the Catskill Water Supply System was not operating optimally or was inoperable. However, federal and state disinfection requirements were met throughout these periods. The failure to provide redundant components to the chlorine disinfection system at all times the system serves water to the public constitutes a violation of the Code of Federal Regulation (40 CFR §141.71(b)(1)(ii) and 141.72(a)(2), and is classified as a treatment technique violation requiring this public notification. The chlorine feed lines provide the first step of disinfection of the raw water supplying the Catskill Supply System at a location in Westchester County. The purpose of the back-up line is to ensure disinfection of the water supply is not interrupted. If the back-up line had been needed during the period it was inoperable, inadequately treated water could have entered the distribution system. Inadequately treated water may contain disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites, which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches.

Although the failure to have a continuously available backup chlorine line is a technical violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act, this violation was not an emergency, and no action is required on your part. There is no reason to stop using the water supplied to your home/business as a result of this violation.

Extensive monitoring during this period demonstrated that the Catskill Water Supply system met all other regulatory requirements for raw water disinfection and the water entering and within the distribution system also had adequate levels of disinfectant, at all times. Thorough monitoring for microbial organisms in the distribution system did not provide any evidence that the mechanical problems with the back-up chlorine line resulted in any elevated levels of microbial organisms in the drinking water, which met all microbial and disinfection residual requirements.

DEP has been working diligently to replace and upgrade the existing chlorine feed lines on the Catskill Water Supply System. As of April 2005, DEP has successfully repaired and/or replaced damaged sections of the existing chlorine feed lines. DEP currently meets the requirements for redundancy in disinfection. However, in light of recent problems with this system, the DEP has determined that a complete replacement of the Catskill chlorination feed lines is necessary. This work was recently commissioned and completion is expected by December 1, 2005.

For further information please call the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Public Affairs at (718) 595-6600 or the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of Public Health Engineering at (212) 676-1520.

Please share this information with other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly. You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail. Landlords and building managers responsible for multi-family dwellings – please post this notice in a conspicuous place.

Public Water System ID#: NY7003493

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600