Drinking Water Program: Facts and Figures

Nearly ninety-five percent of all New Yorkers receive water from public water supply systems in New York State. Public water systems in New York range from New York City, the largest engineered water system in the nation serving more than nine million people, to privately-owned water supply companies serving municipalities, to schools with their own water supply, to small stores in rural areas serving customers water from their own wells. In total, there are over 9,500 public water systems in New York State.

The number of systems by system type and the population served by each type of water system are provided below (Table 1). The reported value for the total population of over 21 million served by these systems is based on counts that include exchanges of water between systems resulting in counting the same population multiple times. The total population figure also includes consumers receiving water from transient non-community systems. Multiple counts of the same population and consumers result in a total value greater than the state's population.

Table 1: Public Water Systems by System Type
Public Water System Type Number of Systems Population Served
Community 2,911 18,361,750
Transient non-community 5,719 2,821,806
Non-transient non-community 725 291,049
Total 9,374 21,475,578

The number of systems by type of water source and the population served by these systems are provided below (Table 2). The majority of the State's population is served by surface water. The metropolitan area of New York City and Long Island dominate the concentration of people receiving public water in the State. Nine million people served by the New York City water system receive surface water. The majority of ground water supplies are concentrated within Nassau and Suffolk Counties, together accounting for nearly 3 million users. The remaining population receiving public water is primarily concentrated in cities, villages and associated suburban areas where public infrastructure has been developed throughout the state. Several systems are served by sources classified as groundwater under the direct influence of surface water or GUDI. GUDI sources require the same level of treatment as surface water sources.

Table 2: Public Water Systems by Source Type
Primary Source Type Number of Systems Population Served
Surface Water 588 12,505,823
Ground Water 8,194 4,770,131
Purchased Surface Water 458 3,996,600
Purchased Ground Water 134 203,024
Total 9,374 21,475,578