Drinking Water Program: Facts and Figures

Nearly ninety-five percent of all New Yorkers receive water from public water supply systems in New York State. Public water systems in New York range from New York City, the largest engineered water system in the nation serving more than nine million people, to privately-owned water supply companies serving municipalities, to schools with their own water supply, to small stores in rural areas serving customers water from their own wells. In total, there are over 9,000 public water systems in New York State.

The number of systems by system type and the population served by each type of water system are provided below (Table 1). The reported value for the total population of over 21 million served by these systems is based on counts that include exchanges of water between systems resulting in counting the same population multiple times. The total population figure also includes consumers receiving water from transient non-community systems. Multiple counts of the same population and consumers result in a total value greater than the state's population.

Table 1: Public Water Systems by System Type
Public Water System Type Number of Systems Population Served
Community 2,859 18,213,927
Transient non-community 5,579 2,823,017
Non-transient non-community 717 286,769
Total 9,155 21,323,713

The number of systems by type of water source and the population served by these systems are provided below (Table 2). The majority of the State's population is served by surface water. The metropolitan area of New York City and Long Island dominate the concentration of people receiving public water in the State. Nine million people served by the New York City water system receive surface water. The majority of ground water supplies are concentrated within Nassau and Suffolk Counties, together accounting for nearly 3 million users. The remaining population receiving public water is primarily concentrated in cities, villages and associated suburban areas where public infrastructure has been developed throughout the state. Several systems are served by sources classified as groundwater under the direct influence of surface water or GUDI. GUDI sources require the same level of treatment as surface water sources.

Table 2: Public Water Systems by Source Type
Primary Source Type Number of Systems Population Served
Surface Water 533 12,335,907
Ground Water 8,056 4,771,476
Purchased Surface Water 433 4,021,453
Purchased Ground Water 133 194,877
Total 9,155 21,323,713