FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 15-56
July 7, 2015
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Department of Environmental Protection Helps New Yorkers Stay Hydrated with Launch of Water-On-the-Go Season
Public Fountains Provide New Yorkers with an Easy, Healthy, Environmentally-Friendly Way to Beat the Heat and Enjoy New York City’s Award Winning Tap Water
In Collaboration with Community Groups and Green Markets, Fountains will Appear in all Five Boroughs, Increasing the Reach and Equitability of the Program
New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd today announced the launch of the 2015 Water-On-the-Go Program. Since 2010, DEP has placed portable NYC Water drinking fountains at public plazas, busy pedestrian areas, and parks around the city during the summer months to promote the high quality of NYC Water and to offer it as an economical, healthy, and environmentally responsible alternative to bottled water and sugary beverages. This year, in addition to operating flagship locations such as Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1, Union Square and City Hall, DEP staff is coordinating with community groups and green markets to place fountains in other strategic locations in all five boroughs to expand the reach and accessibility of the program. In addition, Water-On-the-Go is collaborating with GreeNYC to support the recently launched B.Y.O. campaign, which promotes the use of reusable mugs, bottles and bags rather than their disposable counterparts. Diminishing the consumption of single use plastic bottles by encouraging New Yorkers to refill reusable bottles with tap water supports Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC Plan, including goals to send zero waste to landfills and reduce waste disposal by 90 percent by 2030. The Water-On-the-Go fountains will be available at various locations around the city through Labor Day and are easily spotted with their accompanying bright blue NYC Water tents. A weekly schedule with detailed times and locations is available on DEP’s website.
“In New York City we are fortunate to have some of the highest quality tap water on the planet and it happens to be about 1,000 times less expensive than bottled water,” said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd. “The Water-On-the-Go program celebrates our water supply system and gives us an opportunity to interact with New Yorkers in all five boroughs to encourage tap water as an economical, healthy and sustainable alternative to bottled water and sugary drinks.”
“There’s no better way to stay hydrated during the hot summer months than with New York City water,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. “It’s a free, great tasting, zero-calorie alternative to soda and sports drinks. This program makes it easier for New Yorkers to quench their thirst with one of the healthiest natural resources in the City.”
“Carrying a refillable bottle is an easy and affordable way to keep hydrated throughout the day,” said Roya Kazemi, Director of GreeNYC. “Water-On-the-Go fountains make it simpler than ever to get into the habit of bringing your own bottle and provide an excellent opportunity to improve the environment in our city.”
Drinking tap water is the environmentally responsible way to stay hydrated as the production of plastic water bottles for use in the United States consumes 1.5 million barrels of oil a year—enough to power 250,000 homes or 100,000 cars all year. At approximately one penny per gallon, tap water is about 1,000 times less expensive than bottled water. New York City is fortunate to be able to enjoy some of the best drinking water in the nation. Each day, more than 1 billion gallons of fresh, clean water is delivered from upstate reservoirs—some more than 125 miles from the City—to the taps of nine million customers throughout New York state. New York City is one of only five large cities in the country permitted to run a largely unfiltered drinking water supply, due in large part to the City’s comprehensive watershed protection programs. DEP performs more than 1,000 daily tests of the city’s drinking water taken from nearly 1,000 sampling locations throughout the five boroughs. This is in addition to the 225,000 tests performed annually throughout the watershed. In addition, NYC Water is a healthy alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages, containing zero calories, zero sugar, and zero fat. A typical 16-ounce bottle of soda contains about 180 calories and 20 cubes of sugar. Sports drinks, marketed as healthy alternatives, have as many calories as sugary beverages and usually contain high levels of sodium.
GreeNYC is New York City’s public education program dedicated to educating, engaging, and mobilizing New Yorkers to take simple, but meaningful, steps to reduce their energy use, generate less waste, and live more sustainable lifestyles. The “Bring Your Own” campaign is part of the GreeNYC initiative to promote living a less disposable life by encouraging the use of reusable mugs, bottles and bags rather than their disposable counterparts. This initiative is implemented by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and is part of “One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City,” the City’s comprehensive plan for a sustainable and resilient city that addresses the social, economic, and environmental challenges of all New Yorkers. The plan sets measurable goals for tackling these challenges in the coming years—including sending zero waste to landfills and reducing waste disposal by 90 percent by 2030. To read the full plan, visit nyc.gov/onenyc.
DEP manages New York 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. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 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 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with nearly $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. This capital program is responsible for critical projects like City Water Tunnel No. 3; the Staten Island Bluebelt program, an ecologically sound and cost-effective stormwater management system; the city’s Watershed Protection Program, which protects sensitive lands upstate near the city’s reservoirs in order to maintain their high water quality; and the installation of more than 820,000 Automated Meter Reading devices, which allow customers to track their daily water use, more easily manage their accounts and be alerted to potential leaks on their properties. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.