Frequently Asked Questions

Department: Water & Sewer Division

  • Radio Water Meter
  • Water General
    • Sometimes my water is a rusty brown color. What causes this?

      Brown water is often the result of street construction or water main work being done in the area.  Any disturbance to the main, including the opening of a fire hydrant, can cause pipe sediment to shift, resulting in brown water.  The settling time of the main will vary, depending on the size of the water main.  In addition, brown water is commonly associated with plumbing corrosion problems inside buildings and from rusting hot water heaters.  If you have an ongoing problem with brown water, it is probably due to rusty pipes.   It is recommended that you run your cold water for 2-3 minutes, if it has not been used for an extensive period of time.  This will flush the line.  You can avoid wasting water by catching your "flush"  water in a container and using it to water plants or for other purposes.

    • What can I do about chlorine odors in tap water?

      Chlorine odors may be more noticeable when the weather is warmer. 
      Chlorine is essential to kill organisms that may cause disease.  The following are ways you can remove the chlorine odor from you drinking water:

      Fill a pitcher and let it stand in the refrigerator overnight. (This is the best way.)
      Fill a glass or jar with water and let it stand in the sunlight for 30 minutes.
      Pour water from one container to another about 10 minutes.
      Heat the water to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
      Once you remove the chlorine, be sure to refrigerate the water to limit bacterial growth. 

    • My tap water often looks cloudy when first taken from a faucet, but then clears up. Why?

      Air becomes trapped in the water as a very large volume of pressurized water travels down the long distance of aqueducts to the City.  The water, as a result, can sometimes appear cloudy or milky.  This condition presents no threat to public health.  The cloudiness is temporary and clears quickly after the water is drawn from the tap and the excess air is released.

    • Should I buy bottled water?

      You do not need to buy bottled water for health reasons in New York City since our water meets all health based drinking water standards.  Also, bottled water costs up to 1,000 times more than the City's drinking water.

    • Is New York City's water "hard"?

      Hardness is a measure of calcium in the water.  The less calcium in the water ("soft" water), the easier it is to create lather and suds.  New York City's water is predominantly "soft."

    • Does my water contain fluoride?

      The following streets receive their water through the Yorktown water system and therefore have fluoride: 


      Baker Street 
      Brandeis Avenue 
      Cardoza Avenue 
      Croton Avenue from Maple Ave. to Furnace Dock Rd.
      Dares Lane 
      East Hill Road ** top half
      Hampton Place
      Helena Avenue
      High Street
      Hood Place
      Jacob Street
      John Street
      Kamp Street
      Lakeland Avenue
      Lexington Avenue from Route 6 to Townsend Road
      Lexington Avenue from Route 6 to Mountainview Road
      Lockwood Road from Yorktown line to Lockwood Estates
      Lucs Lane
      McArthur Boulevard
      Mill Court
      Mountainview Road off Croton Avenue
      Mountainview Road off Red Mill Road
      Nathalie Court
      Parkway Colony all streets
      Quarry Acres all streets
      Red Mill Road from Lexington Ave. to Mountainview Road 
      Regina Avenue
      Route 6 from Lexington Ave. to Westchester Mall
      Skyview Road
      Southgate Drive
      Stonefield Court 
      Udell Court
      Wheeler Drive
      Woodland Boulevard