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January 3, 2003

Contact: (718/595-6600)

Important Information About Your Drinking Water

For individuals living or working in the Bronx and Manhattan

New York City’s Croton Water Supply System violated a drinking water standard twice in 2002. Although this was not an emergency, and no action is required on your part, you, as our consumers, have a right to know the circumstances. Croton water is distributed in areas of the Bronx and Manhattan.

Water samples collected during the months of January and August 2002 showed that the monthly average value for turbidity at the Croton supply distribution entry point in Manhattan exceeded 1 nephelometric turbidity unit (NTU). Turbidity is a measure of water clarity related to the amount of suspended matter present. Turbidity in the Croton water usually is below 1 NTU. The Croton water contained elevated levels of manganese in January, and elevated levels of manganese and iron in August, which reacted with the chlorine added as a disinfectant, and contributed to the turbidity. These incidences constitute a maximum contaminant level (MCL) violation of the State Sanitary Code (10 NYCRR Section 5-1.52 tables 4 and 10). However, there have been no additional turbidity exceedances since August 2002, and there is no reason to stop using the water supplied to your home/business as a result of these violations. Due to the drought conditions in 2002, the City needed to use the Croton supply even though the source water was not of optimal quality. The City is currently designing a filtration plant for the Croton supply. When that facility is built, it will virtually eliminate turbidity and enable the City to utilize the Croton supply throughout the year regardless of source water quality. Extensive distribution system monitoring during January and August 2002 demonstrated that, except for the noted elevation in turbidity and color, the water supply met all other drinking water quality standards. Even though there is no reason to believe these turbidity levels contributed to any microbiological contamination of the drinking water, the State and federal drinking water rules require public notification that includes the following language: Turbidity has no health effects. However, turbidity can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth. Turbidity may indicate the presence of disease causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches.

For further information, 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.

Public Water System ID#: NY7003666

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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

(718) 595-6600