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Feature Stories July 15, 2010  RSS feed

Throwing Water On Summer Heat With New DEP Program

Sunnyside Included In Hydration Plan

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway launched a new program to make New York City drinking water easily available at outdoor public locations and events throughout the city this summer.

The program, known as Water-onthe Go, will continue through Labor Day weekend, with the new fountains set-up in all five boroughs at public plazas, city parks, greenmarkets and special events. One of the new venues is in Sunnyside.

The outdoor drinking water stations, connected to fire hydrants, with six faucets for direct drinking or for filling a water bottle. All fountains also feature separate bowls of water for pets. The locations are staffed by volunteers from Mayor Bloomberg’s NYC Service program, GrowNYC— the sponsor of many of the city’s Green Markets, participating Business Improvement Districts and City agency summer interns.

“We’ve made unprecedented investments in maintaining and improving the system that delivers world-renowned drinking water every day to 8.4 million New Yorkers,” said Bloomberg. “Our water is the healthiest, most affordable and most environmentally friendly way to stay hydrated. The Water-on-the-Go program will make it easier for New Yorkers—and their pets—to enjoy New York City water at many of the great public spaces and events the city has to offer this summer.”

“New York City water is clean and tastes great because 7,000 miles of water mains, aqueducts and tunnels are fed by water that comes from pristine upstate watersheds that the City rigorously protects and maintains,” said Commissioner Holloway. “Our water is the perfect summer beverage because it has no calories, it keeps you cool and, at approximately one penny per gallon, it is 1,000 times cheaper than bottled water. I would like to thank Commissioner Farley, Commissioner Sadik- Khan, Commissioner Benepe, Chief Service Officer Billings-Burford and all of our partners for helping us to provide Water-on-the-Go for the City that’s always on the go.”

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has 10 portable Water-on-the-Go fountains that can be easily hooked-up to fire hydrants around the city. DEP staff will deliver, set up and disconnect the fountains at the beginning and end of each day and rotate locations according to the summer schedule.

Highlights of the 2010 Water-onthe Go schedule include:

• Tuesdays at the Brooklyn Borough Hall Greenmarket;

• Wednesdays at the Times Square Public Plaza;

• Thursdays at the West 175th Street and Broadway Greenmarket;

• Fridays at the Union Square Greenmarket;

• Saturdays at rotating events like select Weekend Walks in Staten Island, Sunnyside and the Bronx; and

• Sundays at rotating locations like Brooklyn Bridge Park.

For a full, downloadable schedule of Water-on-the-Go locations, visit www.nyc.gov.

As noted, New York City drinking water is world-renowned for its quality. The DEP performs more than 900 tests daily, 27,000 monthly, and 330,000 on an annual basis from up to 1,000 sampling locations throughout New York City. This work is in addition to 230,000 tests performed in the watershed.

Benefits of drinking New York City drinking water:

• Healthy: New York City drinking water contains zero calories, zero sugar and zero fat. A typical 12-ounce can of soda contains about 150 calo ries and the equivalent of 10 tea spoons of sugar. Sports drinks, which are marketed as healthy alternatives, have as many calories as sugary beverages and usually contain high levels of sodium.

• Affordable: At approximately one penny per gallon, New York City water it is approximately 1,000 times less expensive than bottled water.

• Sustainable: Production of plastic water bottles for use in the United States uses 1.5 million barrels of oil a year—enough to power 250,000 homes or 100,000 cars all year. It takes more than three liters of water to produce each liter of bottled water.

Participating Business Improvement Districts include: the Times Square Alliance, Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership, Union Square Partnership, Dumbo Improvement District, Sunnyside Shines, Sunset Park, Staten Island Collaboration, the Brooklyn Bridge Development Corporation (at Brooklyn Bridge Park), and the City Parks Foundation with Summerstage.