Thursday, November 1, 2012

You Might Want to Boil Your Drinking Water in NYC. UPDATE: Breezy Point Water Contaminated

East River from Brooklyn during Sandy. Photo: MK Metz
UPDATE: Officials said Friday that drinking water is contaminated in Breezy Point. See below.

According to Riverkeeper, Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge has dumped toxic chemicals and oil into the Hudson River and New York Harbor. On top of this, untreated sewage is being piped into the Hudson.

According to abcnews, floodwater collected in Lower Manhattan tested positive for gasoline and two types of bacteria found in sewage. The toxic Gowanus Canal has overflowed its banks and so has polluted Newtown Creek.

What does this all mean? Several things:  First, don't go near the water and avoid areas where it has overflowed. Stay away from that murky water in your basement.

Second: It wouldn't hurt to boil your water until things settle down.

Sure, Mayor Bloomberg says the city's drinking water is safe. And it probably is. Still,according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, after a hurricane water may not be safe to drink. If you don’t have safe bottled water, you can boil water for one minute. If boiling is not possible, use unscented household chlorine bleach*, iodine, or chlorine dioxide tablets.

Still, it's probably best to stick with bottled water. If tap water is contaminated by chemicals or petroleum products, all the boiling in the world won't help.

UPDATE: Officials said Friday that drinking water is contaminated in Breezy Point and advised residents to drink bottled water. Boiling is not enough, they said.

* Eight drops of bleach per one gallon clear water or 16 drops per one gallon of cloudy water.

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Anonymous said...

but... we don't get our water from any of those water sources. It's piped in (miles underground) from upstate.

Anonymous said...

And then heavily treated before delivery. This is a pretty irresponsible post, dude. You really should investigate this and then update accordingly.

Anonymous said...

EPA told us the air was clean after 9-1-1

Anonymous said...

NY Daily News: "Everyone across New York City, the northern suburbs, Long Island and New Jersey are urged to both preserve water and to take extra precaution by boiling tap water, experts said. Flood waters contaminated with bacteria, waste and other filth can seep into aquifers, pipes and wells, allowing contaminants to invade otherwise purified water."

Anonymous said...

NYC city water is safe because like the first post says it is delivered from upstate new york through pressurized pipes.

bj said...

Bloomberg Friday: Water contaminated in Breezy Point.