Stop wasting money on that Brita because New York City water is so good that it’s winning awards.
The Department of Environmental Protection announced this week that despite the city’s history of grittiness, its tap water was awarded the top prize in New York State’s Regional Metro Tap Water Taste Test competition.
The contest took place Thursday at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, where New York City’s water went tap-to-tap with drinking water suppliers from Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk and Orange counties.
Museum visitors sampled tap water from each supplier and ranked them by taste, according to the DEP. New York City’s tap water was judged to be the best tasting, followed by water from Elmsford in Westchester County. After winning the Regional Taste Test competition, New York City tap water will next compete in a state-wide contest in Syracuse on Sept. 2.
The DEP says that NYC’s water is already “internationally renowned for its quality,” adding that it has put billions into efforts to keep it this way.
New York is one of only five large cities in the U.S. allowed to run a largely unfiltered drinking water supply, mainly due to the city’s watershed protection programs, according to the DEP. More than $1.7 billion has been invested in watershed protection programs since 1993, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency first issued the city a waiver from the federal requirement to filter the water from the Catskill/Delaware System. The DEP recently activated the $3.2 billion Croton Filtration Plant, for water from the Croton supply system.
“Generations ago New Yorkers had the foresight to construct the incredible network of infrastructure that carries our water from as far away as 125 miles and provides us with a robust supply of high-quality drinking water from a pristine and protected watershed,” said Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “Under Mayor de Blasio’s leadership we have continued that tradition, investing billions of dollars in upgrades to our water supply system and watershed protection programs, to ensure that the next generation of New Yorkers continue to enjoy high quality drinking water.”
According to the DEP, it performs more than 500,000 analyses of the city’s drinking water every year by collecting samples from streams that feed the reservoirs, the reservoirs themselves, the aqueducts that carry the water to the city, and from nearly 1,000 sampling locations throughout the five boroughs.
For more information on the quality of the city’s tap water and its water supply, check out the DEP’s annual report.