Your Drinking Water

Public Water

Assuring the delivery of safe drinking water is critical to the public health and well being of all New Yorkers. The Department of Health oversees the delivery of drinking water to ensure that it is suitable for people to drink. To assure the safety of drinking water in New York, the Department of Health in cooperation with its partners, the county health departments, regulates the operation, design and quality of public water supplies and commercial bottled water suppliers; assures water sources are adequately protected; provides financial assistance to public water suppliers, reviews and approves plans for proposed realty subdivisions, and sets standards for constructing individual water supplies and individual wastewater systems (septic systems).

Drinking Water Concerns

The State Health Department has been conducting activities in New York State communities in response to local water supply issues and concerns. Activities include consultation and advice to address community water supply issues, drinking water testing for affected public and private water supplies, and activities to characterize and address exposures.

Private Wells

Read about the importance of well testing and maintenance to make sure your water is suitable for drinking, preparing food and all household uses. Information is also provided for local code enforcement and contractors. Test your well water at least once a year for bacteria and for other contaminants every 3-5 years.

Bottled Water

New York State regulates bottled water under the New York State Department of Health Sanitary Code Chapter 1 Subpart 5-6: Bottled and Bulk Water Standards as well as by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). Bottled water refers any product, including natural spring or well water taken from municipal or private utility systems or other water, distilled water, deionized water or any of the foregoing to which chemicals may be added, which are put into sealed bottles, packages or other containers, to be sold for domestic consumption or culinary use, involving a likelihood of such water being ingested by human beings.

Emergency Preparedness and Response

Protecting your family, yourself and others from potentially contaminated drinking water takes some thought and effort. Questions from residents and homeowners about how to do this often arise during a boil water event. The following pages provide answers to some questions you may have. In the event that a "Do Not Use" notice is issued, additional precautions will be needed, contact your local Health Department for guidance.