Department of Environmental Protection Helps New Yorkers Stay Hydrated This Summer with Launch of Water On the Go
Public Fountains Provide New Yorkers with a Healthy, Environmentally-Friendly Way to Beat the Heat and Enjoy New York City’s Award Winning Tap Water
Fountains will Appear in all Five Boroughs, Increasing the Reach of the Program
Photos from the 2016 Season are Available on DEP’s Flickr Page
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently announced the launch of the 2017 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. 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 the DEP website. NYC Water is world renowned for its taste and high quality, collected in protected reservoirs up to 125 miles north of the city and tested more than 630,000 times annually to ensure it is safe.
“Throughout the summer DEP will be providing Water-On-the-Go fountains in busy areas around the city to help New Yorkers stay cool and beat the heat,” said DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “In addition to providing a free, easy and healthy way to stay hydrated, the Water-On-the-Go program provides us with an opportunity to promote all the effort it takes to deliver a billion gallons of healthy drinking water to the city each day, as well as the importance of protecting our water supply.”
“Water is the best drink for your health,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “When you’re outside this summer, there’s no need for sports drinks or other sugary beverages—New York City’s high-quality tap water is a great choice, and it’s free! DEP’s Water-On-the-Go will help all of us stay refreshed and hydrated this summer.”
“New Yorkers are so busy, sometimes we’ll even forget to stop for a drink of water,” said Council Member Corey Johnson, Chair of the Council’s Health Committee. “Staying hydrated during the hot months to come will be crucial to keeping our city happy and healthy all summer long. I applaud DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza and the DEP for continuing to provide this vital service to our city.”
“Our city’s tap water is renowned for its quality and health. Drinking tap water from homes and public water fountains instead of bottled water saves money and helps form environmentally-friendly habits,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Council’s Environmental Protection Committee. “DEP’s Water-on-the-Go program helps spread the word about our healthy tap water and brings more water fountains directly to the public. Thank you to DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza for his leadership on this important effort to keep our city green.”
In addition to operating fountains at flagship locations such as Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1, Union Square and City Hall, DEP is collaborating with community groups and green markets, including GrowNYC, to identify strategic locations in all five boroughs to expand the reach and accessibility of the program. Some highlight events that will feature Water-On-the-GO fountains this season include Solstice in Times Square: Mind Over Madness Yoga, an all-day yoga festival being held today in Times Square, and the NYC Pride March, slated for this upcoming Sunday in Manhattan.
Also new this year, a giant map, “New York City’s Water Story: From Mountain Top to Tap,” which details the path of the New York City Water Supply System, will be featured on canvas backdrops affixed to each bright blue NYC Water tent.
Water-On-the-Go is once again encouraging New Yorkers to support the GreeNYC 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.
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, approximately 1 billion gallons of fresh, clean water is delivered from upstate reservoirs—some more than 125 miles from the City—to the taps of more than 9 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. In addition, DEP has a robust water quality monitoring program, testing the water at every step along its journey, from the streams that feed the reservoirs to the 1,000 sampling locations throughout the five boroughs. In total, DEP conducts more than 500,000 analyses of the water annually. To learn more about NYC Water, read the Annual Report. NYC Water is also 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 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. 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.