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New York City's Wastewater Treatment System

How New York City Protects Its Water Environment

DEP maintains and operates the City's wastewater treatment system; however, its responsibilities extend far beyond the management of the plants. Wastewater treatment is only one part of a very broad program to protect and improve the City's water environment that includes: pollution prevention and remediation; maintenance and upgrading of the City's sewer and wastewater treatment infrastructure; technically innovative wastewater collection and treatment; ecosystem protection; and ongoing scientific and technical research. The ultimate goal is to reduce and control pollution before it reaches our wastewater treatment plants.

Testing New York City Waterways

DEP's Harbor Survey Program tests the New York Harbor waters and sediments at 37 locations. Sampling takes place year-round.Weekly sampling takes place from May through September and monthly from October thru April. Typical tests measure bacteria, turbidity, temperature and the level of dissolved oxygen in the water. The results are used to assess the effectiveness of all of the City's water quality programs and to monitor water quality trends. The Osprey, a vessel equipped with a small laboratory is used to sample the New York City Harbor waters. Since 1909, DEP has monitored water quality in New York Harbor, the East River and the Hudson River, and has published the results annually in its “New York Harbor Water Quality Report.”


Reservoir Levels

Current: 80.3%

Normal: 75.0%