State Health Department Highlights Value of Safe, Clean, Reliable Water As New York State Tap Water Taste Contest Gets Underway

National Drinking Water Week May 3- May 9

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) today announced that the 2015 Tap Water Taste Contest is underway and several of the preliminary local contests are being held during National Drinking Water Week, which began on May 3.

"With the vast majority of New Yorkers receiving their water from public supply systems, it is essential that we ensure that New York's tap water is of the highest quality," said acting New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. "The Tap Water Taste Contest is a fun way to engage the public and educate people on the importance of water supply systems. This friendly competition also gives communities an opportunity to take pride in the high quality drinking water they provide."

2015 marks the 29th year of New York State's Tap Water Taste Contest (TWTC), a friendly competition among New York's 62 counties which helps promote the value and quality of the state's public tap water. Ensuring tap water is of the highest quality is especially important in New York State, as nearly 95 percent of all New Yorkers receive water from public water supply systems. In total, there are more than 9,500 public water systems in New York State. They range in size from the largest engineered water system in the nation serving more than nine million people in New York City to privately-owned companies serving municipalities and schools with their own water supplies.

The TWTC begins with contests at the local and regional levels where the public tastes and votes for the best tasting tap water provided by the participating community water systems. Winners then advance to the regional competitions where, if victorious, they move on to the final competition at the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse. This year, local contests for Albany, Nassau, Suffolk, Tompkins, Westchester and Wyoming counties have been scheduled to coincide with National Drinking Water Week (NDWW).

The TWTC is organized and managed by the New York State Water and Wastewater Education and Outreach Committee (WWEOC), a partnership of state and local government agencies, the federal Environmental Protection Agency, professional associations, engineering firms, water operators, wastewater organizations, community leaders and training providers. Its mission is to attract talented individuals into the water profession and to raise awareness of the value of water and wastewater services in New York State and nationwide. Each year during NDWW, DOH partners with the American Water Works Association and the WWEOC to highlight the importance of drinking water through school events and public presentations where community members are offered important tips for protecting water quality.

For a complete listing of contests in participating counties, as well as information about the regional contests and state finals, visit:

For more information about New York State's Drinking Water Protection Program and for Annual Water Quality Reports, visit: