New York

Water Quality in the State of New York

The New York City department of environmental protection is the nation’s largest municipal water supplier, delivering water to approximately 9.5 million New York residents. The cities water comes from three major watersheds; the Delaware and Catskill Systems, which supply 90% of New York City’s water. The remaining 10% comes from the Croton system. The state's capital, Albany, receives its potable water from the Alcove Reservoir in Albany county. Rochester potable water is derived from Hemlock and Candace lakes, with supplemental water supplies coming from Lake Ontario.


New York State is world-renowned for its water quality and they take multiple measures to keep the water clean and fresh tasting. Some such measures are; state annual water tasting contests, high-tech treatment processes such as the world’s largest ultraviolet disinfection treatment facility in Westchester County New York, and steering clear of extensive chemical treatment regimens. New York City department of environmental protection is one of the 5 municipalities in the US that is allowed to supply unfiltered water based on their water quality, and the water is well known for its fresh taste (which is based on the absence of chlorine, a chemical often used for water treatment).


Water Hardness by City

The state of New York’s average water hardness is moderately hard at 62 PPM. New York City Metro area, home to nearly half of the state’s residents, has water that is considered soft to moderately hard. This stems from the fact that 90% of the water comes from the Catskill and Delaware watershed supply, which has fairly soft to slightly hard water. For example, NYC has moderately hard water, based on the USGS water hardness measures with 65 PPM. Cities that get their water supply from lakes and rivers can have harder water levels such as Buffalo, who’s potable drinking water comes from Lake Erie and provides water at a hardness measure of 135 PPM.


For more information on water hardness in specific cities, please see table below.


City Water Hardness Data
New York City 65 PPM (mg/L) or 4 gpg
Buffalo 135 PPM (mg/L) or 8 gpg
Rochester 130 PPM (mg/L) or 8 gpg
Albany 54 PPM (mg/L) or 3 gpg
Syracuse 120 PPM (mg/L) or 7 gpg
Utica 16 PPM (mg/L) or 1 gpg
Irondequoit 25 PPM (mg/L) or 1 gpg
Binghamton 65 PPM (mg/L) or 4 gpg
Ramapo 149 PPM (mg/L) or 9 gpg
Grand Island 137 PPM (mg/L) or 8 gpg
Schenectady 56 PPM (mg/L) or 3 gpg
Brookhaven 33 PPM (mg/L) or 2 gpg
Lake Placid 22 PPM (mg/L) or 1 gpg
Yonkers 100 PPM (mg/L) or 6 gpg
East Meadows 50 PPM (mg/L) or 3 gpg
Massapequa 13 PPM (mg/L) or 1 gpg
Lake Success 50 PPM (mg/L) or 3 gpg
Islip 32 PPM (mg/L) or 2 gpg
Babylon 21 PPM (mg/L) or 1 gpg
Smithtown 23 PPM (mg/L) or 1 gpg
Oyster Bay 18 PPM (mg/L) or 1 gpg


PPM = Parts Per Million

mg/L = Milligrams Per Liter

gpg = Grains Per Gallon


Agriculture, Food Processing and Water Hardness

New York state is third in the nation for its gross state product, following closely behind California and Texas. The bustling state has a multitude of thriving industries, with the majority of these industries centered around the New York City Metro Area. The agriculture and food processing industry have remained humbly one of the leading New York industries since the early 1800s. The leading agricultural product for New York is dairy farming, New York is the third largest cow milk producer in the country.


Some regions in the state of New York have water rich in calcium (the primary source of water hardness). Many farms and food processing plants experience issues related to scale and biofilm buildup in their irrigators, cooling towers and processing equipment. In addition, contaminants polluting soil and waterways have increased greatly over the past few decades and there is a greater need for waste and chemical control. Many farmers are looking for eco-friendly solutions that can increase the quality and yield of their crops while saving water. Read more about how HydroFLOW can increase crop yield.



Solutions to your Water Quality Problems

Fixing your water quality issues in the state of New York will depend on your specific water source. It is best to test your potable water supply in order to get a better understanding of your water quality. Testing is relatively cheap. The test results will allow you to understand if your potable water has issues that need to be addressed. Common solutions to water contamination problems may include a water filtration system, a reverse osmosis system or other whole home water treatment solutions.


A problem some New York residents will have to deal with is hard water. One old-fashioned, inefficient, expensive and unhealthy method to treat hard water is with a salt-based water softener. Most people don’t realize that if you’re using a water softener you are basically removing calcium and magnesium from your drinking water and adding salt to your diet. In addition, many states are banning the use of salt-based water softeners. 


Alternative water treatment solutions such as “water conditioners” have been gaining popularity in recent years because they are cheap to operate and the best eco-friendly solution for hard water. Hydropath technology, which powers the HydroFLOW water conditioners is by far the most efficient and cost-effective eco-friendly solution to deal with hard water problems. To learn more about how HydroFLOW solves the problems created by hard water, please check out our technology page. You might want to read this blog that explains the difference between water conditioners and water softeners: Water Conditioner vs. Water Softener Blog.