New York, New York
Water Quality in New York, New York
Watershed: East River – Hudson River (surface water)
What is the water quality like in New York, NY?
Let’s dive deeper into what’s in your water.
What’s in your water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Bromodichloromethane – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 16 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
9 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
See the What Can You Do? section below for all of the contaminants you can filter out and how to do it.
Where does New York’s water come from?
New York’s water comes from the East River – Hudson River watershed.
12 of the 13 EPA assessed water sources in the East River – Hudson River watershed are in Impaired or Unknown condition. These include:
- East River
- Harlem Meer
- Harlem River
- Hudson River – 3 segments
- Jerome Park Reservoir
- Newtown Creek
- Ridgewood Reservoir
- The Lake in Central Park
- Upper New York Bay – 2 segments
Ideally, a water source would be rated in Good condition. Central Park Reservoir is in Good condition.
Whether a water source is in Impaired or Good condition refers to the quality of these uses:
- Drinking Water
- Aquatic Life
- Fish and Shellfish Consumption
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve New York’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality can be surprising.
But there’s no reason to lose hope. There are things you can do in your household as well as things you can do at a community level.
In Your Household:
- Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out 15 of the 16 contaminants in your drinking water.
- Brita and PUR pitchers only remove 10 contaminants.
- Berkey filters can also remove up to 99% of Lead in New York water.
- Note: We may receive a commission if you decide to purchase filters through links on this page.
- To filter out 15 of the 16 contaminants in your whole house, consider a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for your home.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but can be more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
- 1,4-Dioxane – “Exposure may cause damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys.”
- Bromodichloromethane – health risks in drinking water
- Chloroform – side effects
- Chromium (total)
- Dichloroacetic acid
- Haloacetic acids – chlorination byproduct*
- Hexavalent chromium – health effects
- Monochloroacetic acid
- Total trihalomethanes – byproduct of chlorination*
- Trichloroacetic acid
*Chlorination is an effective method of disinfecting/treating drinking water. You can then use a water filter to reduce the effects of chlorination byproducts to get the safest, cleanest water possible.
In Your Community:
Contact your local government officials and put pressure on them to invest in cleaner waterways and upgraded city water filtration and treatment.
Go to: https://www1.nyc.gov/ to find contact information for your local officials.