Water Quality

Clean Water For All From the Tap

Like the rest of NYC, Northern Manhattan’s drinking water comes from the Catskill and Delaware System Reservoirs located in Upstate New York. The City’s water does not violate New York State’s guideline for factors that could be harmful to human health, and in fact, has been ranked as some of the safest (and best tasting) drinking water in the U.S.

However, contamination concerns remain for lead, byproducts of chlorine (used disinfectants), and biological contaminants (such as bacteria). With Northern Manhattan’s older housing stock, and therefore older lead delivery pipes, residents should take steps to reduce the risk of potential lead contamination. Lead in water, often from the corrosion of service lines, is neurotoxin and especially dangerous for children under the age of six and pregnant women, causing:

  • Impairments to childhood development
  • learning and behavior problems
  • damage to brain and nervous system

Water Recreation for Healthy Living

Contaminant levels continue to pose a risk to swimming in all NYC waterways, although the number of days with high biological contaminants is few. Even so, activities including canoeing, kayaking and other water sports are still allowed and even encouraged. Users should be aware that “recreational waters” does not include water safe for fish consumption. City and state agencies (DEP and DEC) continue to advise against pregnant women’s and children’s consumption of fish caught in Northern Manhattan waters.

Stay Up To Date