NYC's Catskill Water Supply to Remain Unfiltered


It may come as a surprise to readers, that New York City’s water supply is unfiltered. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency announced last week that it would extend the city’s current exemption from filtration requirements at least until 2017. Currently 90 percent of the one billion gallons used in the city each day comes from a system of reservoirs in the Catskill Mountains, while 10 percent is drawn from reservoirs in Westchester County. The city is constructing a $2 billion filtration plant in the Bronx to filter the water sourced from Westchester Country. Meanwhile, the city agreed to set aside $300 million over the next 10 years to purchase and conserve land in its Catskill watershed. New York City owns about 114,000 acres in the Catskill and Delaware watersheds. This combined with state forestry land, means that only 31 percent of the 1 million acre watershed is currently protected. The city has also committed to reducing the amount of cloudiness in certain Catskill reservoirs by erecting screens, building baffles, and using other technology to allow sediment to settle before it reaches New York’s faucets. Finally, the city is undergoing a review of proposed projects that are intended to reduce the amount of chemical additives that are now used to remove sediment. See also ::How to Green Your Water

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