New York’s Tap Water: Top Quality?

New York City has long had the reputation of having close to the best quality tap water throughout the nation. But now, the issue of the purity of its water, is being questioned and used for a potential business opportunity.  A store in the East Village is now selling New York City tap water.  But Molecule is insisting that this is “not just any tap water,” since it streams through a filtering machine using UV rays, ozone treatments and reverse osmosis.  Indeed, the processing treatment encompasses seven stages, in order to create the end result – “pure H20.”

And it’s not a cheap process either – the machine costs $25,000 – but Molecule co-owner Adam Ruhf insists that it’s worth it as he never has to be concerned about spoiled products or storage costs.  As well, for those with a sensitive palate, they can really tell the difference in taste of the water.

Much Ado About Nothing?

At the end of the day though, is this just all a scam?  Doesn’t the city of New York already boast really great quality water?  And if that is the case, why on earth would someone want to pay $2.50 for a 16 ounce glass of something they can get from their taps at home?  Especially since a spokesman for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection pointed out that the general consensus among public health experts is that the water in the city is “among the safest, highest quality in the world.”  They know this through the 500,000+ tests that are conducted on an annual basis.

Still, Ruhf isn’t convinced.  He believes that the water still contains chemicals and chlorine and thus there is a niche for Molecule. He says that the water is tastier, fluffy and finishes smoothly.  As well, it is imbued with herbs, roots and even pH infusions.

NYC Tap Water: The Facts

If New York City had anything to hide about the quality of its water, then it probably wouldn’t be showcasing it through its Water-On-the-Go program. Organized by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the program is keeping New Yorkers hydrated through its portable fountains that are being installed at special events throughout the five boroughs.

Furthermore, it claims that the water supplies in NYC are practically lead-free. While there is a chance that lead can leach into water via old plumbing, sampling suggests that most of NYC taps produce water containing insignificant (if any) quantities of lead.  For those who are overly-concerned however, they can call 311 for a free testing kit.  Giardia and Cryptosporidium have been detected in some water samples, BUT there has not been any evidence that these have caused any kind of illness among New Yorkers.  Further, all drinking water in the NYC area is chlorine-treated (killing harmful bacteria and viruses), fluoride and orthophosphate (ensuring the prevention of lead from being released into the plumbing).  There has been an argument that the exposure to chlorine and its byproducts can be linked to an increased risk for certain types of cancer, but the risk is so small vis-à-vis those linked to non-chlorinated water.