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NYC Filtration Avoidance Determination (FAD) – Watershed Protection Program


New York City has one of the few unfiltered water supplies in the nation. That is how healthy our Delaware River water is – it is unfiltered and still clean and healthy to drink.  

Pursuant to state and federal law, surface water supplies must be filtered unless they can meet a strict set of standards that allow the avoidance of filtration. The Delaware River water that is served to New York City meets those strict standards. 

In July, 2017,  New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection (NYDEP) proposed the most recent version of the Filtration Avoidance Determination (FAD) program it needs approved in order to continue its ability to serve unfiltered drinking water to City residents and visitors. NYC’s Watershed Protection Program and FADs have ensured a nationally recognized effort that has protected not just New York City’s primary water supply but that has provided unrivaled protection to the water quality of the Delaware River’s headwater streams and preserved thousands of acres of critical watershed lands and riparian areas in the Catskills. It is important that this program continue on its current watershed protection trajectory and that it not be subverted for political or other purposes that would diminish the quality of the program and therefore the quality of the additional and ongoing protection given to the Delaware River and, in turn, all communities that live downstream.

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network has been active on reviewing and comment on the most recently proposed FAD, dated July 2017, because protecting the headwaters of the Delaware River for New York City also ensures the quality of the River is protected for all those who live and benefit from the Delaware River downstream.