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June 29, 2011


Farrell Sklerov/Mercedes Padilla (718) 595-6600

DEP Launches 2011 Water-On-the-Go Program to Make NYC Water Available At Outdoor Public Spaces This Summer

Fountains Are Located at Public Plazas, Greenmarkets and City Parks Until Labor Day To Provide Free, Healthy, Sustainable Water for New Yorkers, Visitors and Pets

Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway today launched an expanded Water-On-the-Go program for the second consecutive summer to make New York City drinking water easily available at outdoor public locations and events throughout the city. The program begins today and will continue through Labor Day weekend, with water fountains set up in all five boroughs at public plazas, city parks, greenmarkets and special events. The fountains are outdoor drinking water stations, connected to fire hydrants, with six faucets for direct drinking or for filling a water bottle. All fountains also feature separate bowls of water for pets. The program makes the city's world-renowned drinking water easily available at high traffic locations, reducing the need for bottled water purchases, or purchases of less healthy and more costly soft drinks. Water-On-the-Go also educates New Yorkers about the high quality of NYC water and its sources. For this program, DEP partners with community groups, arts and cultural organizations and other City agencies to integrate Water-On-the-Go into events throughout the city. In 2010, Water-On-the-Go attracted more than 85,000 people and countless pets.

"NYC Water is simply the best," said Commissioner Holloway. "It comes from picturesque watersheds upstate that we vigorously protect, and is distributed to New Yorkers through a complex and ingenious underground network that is the envy of the world. Our Water-On-the-Go fountains make the healthiest, most affordable and most environmentally-friendly drink available to New Yorkers for free in every borough throughout the summer. Last summer, we had more than 85,000 people stop by to grab a drink or fill up a bottle, and with more than three times as many fountains out six days every week this summer, we'll easily surpass that mark. When you need to cool off this summer, do it with NYC Water."

"Drinking water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages is one of the easiest and most effective steps you can take to maintain your weight and health," said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. "The Department of Environmental Protection is doing just what they should to help New Yorkers stay healthy by putting New York City water right where people are."

The Department of Environmental Protection has 10 portable Water-On-the-Go fountains that can be easily hooked up to fire hydrants around the city. Department of Environmental Protection staff will deliver, set up and disconnect the fountains at the beginning and end of each day and rotate locations according to the summer schedule.

A Water-On-the-Go fountain in Union Square in 2010
A Water-On-the-Go fountain in Union Square in 2010

Highlights of the 2011 Water-On-the-Go schedule include:

  • Tuesdays at the Brooklyn and Bronx Borough Hall Greenmarkets
  • Wednesdays at Union Square, Bryant Park and Learn It, Grow It, Eat It Youthmarket on Boston Road and 169 Street in the Bronx
  • Thursdays at Times Square and the Tucker Square Greenmarket near Lincoln Center
  • Fridays at a Greenmarket at Roosevelt Avenue and 103 Street in Queens, City Hall Park and Rockefeller Center
  • Saturdays at Grand Army Plaza, a Greenmarket near Inwood Hill Park and Abingdon Square 
  • Sundays at Brooklyn Bridge Park and Brooklyn Flea

Water-On-the-Go fountains will also be set up at the Saint George Ferry Terminal to coincide with more than 30 Staten Island Yankee games. To find a full, downloadable schedule of Water-on-the-Go locations, visit www.nyc.gov/dep.

New York City drinking water is world-renowned for its quality. New York City is one of only five large cities in the country that is allowed to run a largely unfiltered water system due to the city's comprehensive watershed protection programs. The Department of Environmental Protection also performs more than 1,000 tests daily, 31,000 monthly, and 375,000 on an annual basis from up to 1,000 sampling locations throughout New York City. This work is in addition to 225,000 tests performed in the watershed.

Benefits of drinking NYC Water:

  • Healthy: New York City drinking water contains zero calories, zero sugar and zero fat. A typical 12-ounce can of soda contains about 150 calories and the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar. Sports drinks, which are marketed as healthy alternatives, have as many calories as sugary beverages and usually contain high levels of sodium.
  • Affordable: At approximately one penny per gallon, New York City water it is approximately 1,000 times less expensive than bottled water.
  • Sustainable: Production of plastic water bottles for use in the United States uses 1.5 million barrels of oil a year – enough to power 250,000 homes or 100,000 cars all year. It takes more than three liters of water to produce each liter of bottled water.

DEP manages the city's water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City. New York City's water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, and comprises 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 7,400 miles of sewer lines take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/dep or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nycwater.

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