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June 15, 2017
deppressoffice@dep.nyc.gov, (718) 595-6600

New York City Department of Environmental Protection Tops in Customer Satisfaction Among Northeast Water Utilities

DEP Ranks #1 in Customer Service

Findings are part of ‘J.D. Power 2017 Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study’

Photos are Available on DEP's Flickr page

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today shared the J.D. Power 2017 Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study, which finds New York City tops in customer satisfaction among water utilities in the Northeast Region. The study measured satisfaction among residential customers of the 87 largest water utilities across the United States each delivering water to a population of at least 400,000 people in four geographic regions: Midwest, Northeast, South and West. The findings were based on approximately 45,000 online interviews, representing more than 87 million water utility residential customers.

“Serving roughly half the state of New York, DEP is proud to be recognized for the tremendous efforts undertaken by our nearly 6,000 employees to provide a reliable supply of high-quality drinking water,” DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said. “The continuous hard work and innovation across all levels of DEP make New York City a world-wide leader in protecting the environment and public health.”

“I am proud that our city has been recognized as the top water utility in customer satisfaction. Our drinking water is known for being the healthiest, safest, and best tasting tap water,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Environmental Protection Committee (Queens, District 22). “We are also honored to be recognized for our water conservation and sustainability efforts. Thank you to Acting Commissioner Sapienza for helping DEP lead the way.”

“The NYC Department of Environmental Protection does so much for our city and New York State,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen (Bronx, District 11). “As a city of over 8 million residents, our clean water supply is a huge concern. The NYC Department of Environmental Protection offers New Yorkers simple and clear alternatives that help us conserve water.”

“Nothing is more fundamental to human life than water. I offer my heartiest congratulations to the Department of Environmental Protection on its recent #1 ranking among Northeast water utilities for customer satisfaction,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal (Manhattan, District 6). “New York City metro area residents are profoundly fortunate to have access to such an abundant and high quality water supply. Maintaining and protecting our sources of water and delivery infrastructure should be our City’s highest priority.”

“For everyone that works with the public, especially those that provide critical services day in and day out, great customer service is key,” said Council Member Stephen Levin (Brooklyn, District 33). “I applaud DEP and the men and women who work hard every day for this accomplishment. I hope DEP’s commitment to satisfactorily meeting the needs of New Yorkers everywhere is an example to everyone who serves our community.”

“We New Yorkers know we have the best water in the country and the best utility delivering that water—and it's great to be formally recognized for this by JD Power. Congratulations to the men and women with the Department of Environmental Protection who work hard every day to deliver this vital service to millions of New Yorkers,” said Council Member Debi Rose (Staten Island, District 49).

In the study, overall satisfaction was determined by closely examining 33 attributes within six factors (listed in order of importance): delivery; price; conservation; billing and payment; communications; and customer service. DEP scored 732, based on a 1,000-point scale, and well above the Northeast Region average of 704.

  • Delivery. New York City tap water is world renowned for its quality and taste. DEP scientists test the water more than 630,000 times each year and the results can be found in an annual report. In addition, over the last few years DEP has activated the $3.2 billion Croton Filtration Plant in the Bronx, the $1.6 billion Ultraviolet Light Disinfection Facility in Westchester and is in the midst of the largest and most complex repair in the system’s history, the $1 billion construction of the Delaware Aqueduct Bypass Tunnel under the Hudson River.
  • Price. While most costs in New York City are higher for residents, such as housing, food and utilities, the cost of water here is below the average for the thirty largest U.S. cities.
  • Conservation. As a result of water conservation programs and the roll out of Automated Meter Readers and real-time feedback about water consumption, overall water use in the city has declined from over 1.5 billion gallons a day in 1980 to roughly 1 billion gallons a day at present, while the city’s population grew from just over 7.1 million to 8.5 million in the same period.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high quality drinking water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.5 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. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $20.7 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

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