New York City’s tap water is higher in quality than most other American cities. Although the water is of high quality, chlorinated water is added during distribution to disinfect it. Furthermore, New York is home to some of the oldest buildings in the country, meaning that if your pipes leach lead, they will end up in your drinking water, no matter how much effort is put into it.

Tap water and bottled water in New York have also been found to contain microplastics. If you want to ensure the highest quality of drinking water, it is worth considering water purification systems that will eliminate a majority of contaminants found in your water supply.

In this article, we will explore the facts about NYC tap water, from its history to its current safety measures, in order to help you decide if it is safe for you to drink from the tap or if you should be looking for another source of clean and safe drinking water.

Where does NYC water come from?

Where does NYC water come from?

The majority of NYC’s water comes from the Catskill/ Delaware system, which consists of 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. The system starts west of the Hudson River in upstate New York and runs down through the Catskill Mountains. It supplies about 1.3 billion gallons of water per day to nine million people in New York City and the surrounding areas.

New Yorkers’ beloved watershed water is so clean it is one of few municipalities that are not required by law to filter its water (although it is disinfected by UV exposure). It is during distribution that the quality degrades. Especially for children, the local distribution network, which uses chloramine as a disinfectant, and the aging pipes inside buildings may introduce unwanted flavors and potentially lead-related health risks.

As one of the country’s largest unfiltered water systems, New York City ranks among the best public water systems, along with major cities like Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland.

In order to ensure the drinking water in NYC meets the Department of Environmental Protection’s rigorous standards, the Department of Environmental Protection performs between 500,000 and 600,000 tests every year.

Is NYC tap water safe to drink?

Is NYC tap water safe to drink?

There is no easy answer to this question. While the quality of NYC tap water is generally high, there have been occasional problems in the past that have led some people to wonder if it is safe to drink.

The tap water in New York City is generally clean and safe to drink. It’s actually one of the cleanest in any major US city. Unless you have an allergy or dietary restriction that prevents you from ingesting some of the additives used to clean the water, drinking NYC tap water shouldn’t cause any health problems.

To prevent contamination, you can always invest in a filtration system or pitcher that you can place in your refrigerator. This will ensure that the water you consume is pure and free of unwanted substances.

Is NYC tap water better than bottled water?

Is NYC tap water better than bottled water?

There is a common misconception that bottled water is always better for you than tap water. While it is true that bottled water undergoes more stringent filtering and purification processes than municipal tap water, NYC tap water is actually relatively clean and safe to drink. In fact, the city’s water quality exceeds federal and state standards.

So why bottled water? Some people simply prefer the taste of bottled water, while others may not trust the safety of their local tap water. If you’re concerned about the quality of your tap water, you can always have it tested by a certified lab.

The water used in bottles sold in the store is regulated differently from the water from the tap. FDA regulates water bottles, while EPA regulates tap water, but both agencies have strict standards when it comes to purity. Furthermore, bottled water is usually made from the same sources as tap water. Despite having different mineral compositions and treatment processes, the end product is much the same.

Is NYC water hard or soft?

Is NYC water hard or soft?

The quality of New York City’s tap water varies depending on where it comes from. The city gets its water from three different sources: the Catskill/Delaware, Croton, and Westchester watersheds.

The water from the Catskill/ Delaware system is considered the best quality, while the water from the Croton system is considered lower quality. The water from the Westchester system is of a similar quality to that of the Croton system.

The hardness of NYC tap water also varies depending on its source. Water from the Catskill/Delaware watershed is relatively soft, while water from the Croton watershed is harder. Water from the Westchester watershed falls somewhere in between.

So, answering the question, “Is NYC water hard or soft?” depends on where it comes from. In general, though, NYC tap water is on the softer side.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How much is the average water bill in NYC?

Property owners in New York City are assessed based on their water consumption between their previous and current water meter readings for water and sewer services. You are billed in hundred cubic foot (HCF) units. One HCF equals 748 gallons. At the current water rate, properties are billed for how many HCF units they consume. There is a metered rate of $4.30 per 100 cubic feet for water and a combined rate of $11.13 per 100 cubic feet for water and sewer.

In New York City, the average water bill is about $27 per month. This includes the cost of water, sewer, and stormwater management. Water bills can vary depending on the size of your apartment or home, how much water you use, and whether or not you use a water purification system.

2. Why is NYC drinking water so good?

There are a few reasons why New York City’s water is so good. The first is that the city has a large and robust water treatment infrastructure. This includes a network of reservoirs, tunnels, and pumps that deliver water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs. The second reason is that the city’s water is tested regularly for quality and safety. In fact, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection tests the city’s water more than any other municipality in the United States. Finally, the natural filtration provided by the Catskill Mountains ensures that NYC tap water is some of the cleanest and best-tasting in the country.

3. Who has the cleanest tap water in the world?

According to a recent study, tap water in New York City is the cleanest in the world. The study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that NYC’s tap water meets or exceeds all federal and state safety standards.

The NRDC study tested the water quality of 25 cities around the world and found that NYC’s water was the cleanest overall. In addition to meeting all safety standards, NYC’s tap water also had the lowest levels of contaminants of any of the cities tested. If you’re looking for the cleanest and safest tap water in the world, look no further than New York City.

4. How much fluoride is in New York City tap water?

New York City’s drinking water indeed contains fluoride. According to Article 141.05 of the New York City Health Code, fluoride compounds are added to the water supply at a concentration of about 0.8 mg/L. This has been done since 1966 as a way to disinfect water from harmful contaminants.

The level of fluoride in NYC tap water is within the range that is considered safe for human consumption, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The optimum level of fluoride in drinking water is between 0.7 and 1.2 mg/L, and the level in NYC tap water falls within this range.


In conclusion, NYC tap water is safe to drink and does not contain dangerous levels of contaminants. The EPA’s stringent standards for drinking water quality mean that we can trust the safety of our tap water when it comes to consuming or using it in cooking.

While other potential pollutants are present in NYC’s waterways, these pose only a minimal health risk, if at all. As long as you practice good hygiene and do not rely on unfiltered water sources such as lakes, rivers, or streams, then your exposure to harmful substances should be minimized.

About The Author

Our Web Producer

Judith— a passionate water treatment specialist — is a waste water management enthusiast, clean drinking water advocate, and someone with deep personal experience and knowledge about various water equipments. Her work was mentioned in countless notable water associations. Previously she was an editor at Water Alliance.