Drinking Water Sampling Stations

December 5, 2010


The fragility of our precious unfiltered catskills water system makes it necessary to take many precautionary measures to assure the quality and safety of drinking water for so many millions  of people. Above is a photograph of an opened water sampling station in New York City. This is one of over 900 stations that are in the five boroughs. Each month 1200 samples are taken from up to 564 locations according to the DEP, who collects and monitors the samples. Installation of the newest ones was completed in 1997. This was an 11 million dollar project. The locations of these stations were determined by many factors. Their placement is based on getting representative data from all the areas of delivery of water in the city. Population density, proximity to mains, accessibility, and pressure zones were considered. Below is a map of all the locations of water sampling stations in the city.


Here the open box displays the faucet within that is attached to a water main below. The water samples taken at these locations are then tested for  “bacteria, chlorine levels, pH, inorganic and organic pollutants, turbidity, odor, and many other water quality indicators.”-DEP These standards that the DEP sets are more rigorous than the ones required by law. The drinkability of water is measured by the Maximum Contaminate Level or MCL. However, this is not the same as the MCLG (G for Goal) which is the level of contamination with which there are no possible health risks involved. Something to think about.

Although these stations test the water that is being pumped into our homes, out  of our taps and into our glasses and shower heads, the city still warns of the possibility of contamination from lead that comes from the water passing though pipes in older buildings.



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