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September 5, 2002

Contact: Geoff Ryan (718) 595-6600

Discolored Water In Areas Of Bronx And Manhattan

Various areas of the Bronx and Manhattan have recently been experiencing discolored water in their homes and businesses. These areas are served by the City's Croton Water Supply System. Water from the Croton System normally undergoes a seasonal elevation in color, caused by higher water temperature and growth of algae during the late summer and early fall. During this seasonal change, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) normally turns off the Croton system for several months and relies on water from the Catskill and Delaware Water Supply Systems to meet the City's needs. This year, however, the City has been in a Stage I Drought Emergency since April 1st and has been forced to draw more water from the Croton System than usual at this time of year. And, because of the drought, the City needs to keep the Croton System in operation until the reservoirs return to a more normal capacity.

DEP has instituted a number of operational changes at the New Croton Reservoir and within the City's distribution system, which should improve the current condition. DEP will continue to make distribution changes to ensure that the optimum quality water available in the Croton Reservoir is delivered to consumers.

DEP Commissioner Christopher O. Ward said, "I want to assure the public that Croton System water meets all State and federal health-related standards, and that the discoloration is purely an aesthetic problem."

The City has been ordered by the federal Environmental Protection Agency to build a filtration plant for Croton System water. When that facility is built, it will virtually eliminate discoloration and enable the City to utilize Croton System water throughout the year, which is particularly important during periods of drought.


More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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

(718) 595-6600