Bill Memo: What’s in Your Water
This bill amends Section 1152 of the Public Health Law to require that certain water works corporations post their annual water supply statements online.
This bill requires water works corporations with more than 1,000 service connections to post their annual water supply statement online if a website exists, or to submit it to the relevant municipality’s website. Every New Yorker has the right to know what’s in their water, and this bill increases the accessibility of critical information to protect public health.
Annual water supply statements are also known as Annual Water Quality Reports (AWQRs) and contain vital data on the safety of drinking water. The reports detail the source of the water supply, the testing results of any contaminants present, and educational materials on health risks. Under current federal and state law, only community water systems that serve 100,000 or more people are required to post their AWQRs online.
We recommend that this bill be expanded to cover all community water systems in New York, regardless of size. In 2001, the New York State Department of Health updated Section 5-1.72 of the State Sanitary Code to require all community water systems in New York to create AWQRs. Community water systems have at least 5 service connections used by year-round residents or regularly serve at least 25 year-round residents. Since all community water systems currently create AWQRs, requiring their posting online would involve little effort while extending the bill’s benefits to a greater number of New Yorkers.
This bill provides much-needed transparency and openness to our state’s water quality data.
Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Beneficial
Memo #: 16