Title: Section 128-1.2 - Purpose and findings

Effective Date


128-1.2 Purpose and findings.

(a) The quality of the drinking water supplied to the City and upstate communities which draw from the New York City water supply depends primarily on the quality of the source waters which feed the reservoirs. The source waters and reservoirs are vulnerable to degradation and contamination from various sources and activities, including, but not limited to:

(1) Wastewater discharges to surface water and groundwater;

(2) Urban, suburban, rural, mining, silvicultural and agricultural land use practices that result in nonpoint source runoff of pollution and/or in adverse changes in the natural rate at which water flows into and through a delineated drainage basin; and

(3) Improper use, handling, storage, transport and/or disposal of substances, including but not limited to, hazardous substances, radioactive materials, pesticides, fertilizers, winter highway maintenance materials, solid wastes, and animal wastes.

(b) The Department finds that such sources and activities, either alone or in conjunction with any other related activities, may constitute a source of contamination to or degradation of the water supply, may cause a contravention of the State water quality standards set forth in 6 NYCRR Parts 701-705, and Subpart 128-4 of these rules and regulations, and may result in the impairment of the use of the water supply for drinking, culinary or food processing purposes.

(c) In response to the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1986, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has begun implementing a significant expansion of regulatory requirements for public water systems. In order to protect the public health, and to satisfy the legislative mandates of the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments and the rules and regulations in 40 CFR Parts 141 and 142, the New York State Department of Health has amended the State Sanitary Code, 10 NYCRR Part 5, Subpart 5-1, Public Water Systems, which contains New York State s Surface Water Treatment Rule. Although both Federal and State law propose filtration as a method for water quality treatment for pathogen control, the effectiveness of the filtration process and complexity of plant operation is dependent upon the quality of the water entering the filtration plant. In addition, many contaminants are not removed by conventional filtration. Therefore, it is clear that enhancement of the City's existing watershed rules and regulations would be necessary even if the City were to build filtration plants to filter its entire water supply.

(d) It is the goal and intent of these rules and regulations to protect the public health by averting future contamination to and degradation of the water supply and by remediating existing sources of pollution or degradation of the New York City water supply. These rules and regulations implement the Department's intention to minimize the discharge of pollutants into the source waters from both point and nonpoint sources, minimize the adverse impacts of erosion, limit the discharge of phosphorus to source waters which may accelerate the eutrophication process, and provide notification to the City of ongoing or proposed activities, which either alone or in conjunction with other existing and proposed regulated activities, may cause contamination to or degradation of the water supply.

(e) It is the purpose of these rules and regulations to insure compliance with the Federal and State standards by providing a comprehensive watershed protection program. Furthermore, these rules and regulations articulate an anti-degradation policy for the New York City water supply system. These rules and regulations are promulgated to govern those activities in the watershed that threaten the quality of the water supply of the numerous upstate communities and the City of New York. While bound by its responsibility to protect the public health, the City has also taken the needs of the communities and businesses in the New York City watershed into consideration in drafting and promulgating these rules and regulations.

(f) The City reserves the right to re-examine these rules and regulations periodically to insure that they continue to further the goal and intent referred to in paragraph (d) of this subdivision and the purposes referred to in paragraph (e) of this subdivision. Without limiting the foregoing, and without limiting the City's rights to continue, modify, amend, suspend, waive or revoke any or all of these rules and regulations at any time in accordance with applicable law, the City intends to re-examine these rules and regulations ten (10) years after the effective date hereof to ascertain whether, and to what extent, these rules and regulations should be modified or amended so that they continue to serve their intended purposes.


VOLUME B (Title 10)