State grants totaling $6 million will be used to enhance water supply programs throughout New York state, announced New York Governor George Pataki. Thirty-six counties and New York City will receive additional funding to make water supply program improvements, increasing county environmental health program funding from $3 million to $9 million.
There are more than 11,000 public water systems in New York. And more than three million New Yorkers rely on private individual wells for drinking water.
The additional funds will help local health departments enhance water systems inspections, to ensure that all federal and state drinking water standards are met. The initiative also includes a number of new activities aimed at improving drinking water quality, such as source water assessment activities to ensure that surface and groundwater used for drinking water are safe from potential sources of contamination. The new funds also will be distributed to improving disinfection of groundwater supplies, enhancing treatment of surface supplies and additional standards for contaminants.
"This initiative will help ensure that New Yorkers continue to get safe, clean drinking water," Pataki said. "By tripling the state's commitment to help counties enhance and improve their water programs, we are protecting public health and giving more New Yorkers confidence in their drinking water every time they turn on the faucet."
(Source: Environment News Service)