May 11, 2016: The top tap water in Westchester is served by the Village of Elmsford, according to residents who participated in the Westchester County Department of Health’s annual water taste test today in White Plains.
One hundred sixty three residents sampled water from 8 of the county’s water suppliers in a blind taste test outside the Michaelian Office Building in White Plains. This friendly annual competition promotes the excellent quality of Westchester tap water and highlights the role of the county health department in assuring drinking water quality.
The runner-up was the Village of Briarcliff Manor and the City of Yonkers came in third.
“We’re all winners, because Westchester’s drinking water tastes great and is good for you,” said County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “It’s also reassuring to know we have professionals working behind the scenes to maintain and assure the high quality of our drinking water.”
The winner will advance to a regional competition this summer, and the regional winners will ultimately compete for statewide bragging rights at the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse on Sept. 2.
The experts say a good glass of water should be clean, crisp, clear and cool. The county’s health department samples the waters routinely to ensure all quality standards are met. The 8 participating water suppliers in this year’s competition were: Village of Briarcliff Manor; Village of Elmsford; Greenburgh Consolidated Water District #1; Village of Scarsdale; Suez; City of Mount Vernon; City of White Plains; and City of Yonkers.
Drinking Water 101
There are 101 community public water suppliers in Westchester County. If you have questions about your drinking water, you should contact your water supplier. To find out who your supplier is, use this interactive map.
Residents who would like to arrange testing to determine whether their own pipes or solder are leaching lead into their drinking water may contact their water supplier to ask whether the supplier will provide testing. If this is not available, residents can identify a certified commercial lab and arrange testing by using this NYSDOH search tool.
Westchester County Health Department regulates the quality of public drinking water. Each public water supplier routinely tests the drinking water and provides water test results reports for review by the health department. In addition, the health department regularly conducts spot checks of public water supplies and collects water samples for testing.
When the water quality is compromised, the health department may issue a water use advisory. The most common water use advisory is a boil water alert issued for a water main break or other event. After corrective actions have been taken, the water pressure has been restored and satisfactory water sample test results are available for the affected area, the department alerts residents that the water is safe to drink.
Approximately 6% of Westchester County residents are served by private wells. In Westchester County, private wells must be tested upon the sale of the property, for leased property and prior to the use of water from new wells, in accordance with the Private Well Water Testing Law. The parameters tested include bacteria (total coliform); chloride; nitrate; pH; some heavy metals; and organics. Ongoing testing is required for leased property at least once every five years.
While not required by law, homeowners are advised to take special precautions to ensure the protection and maintenance of their drinking water supplies and to test their water periodically. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) recommends that private water supplies be tested annually for nitrate and coliform bacteria to detect contamination problems early, or more frequently, if you suspect a problem. For more information, please visit the USEPA website.