The Korean
Hapkido Institute

New York City Line Water Tanks Need Attention

New York City’s drinking water tanks have been poorly maintained for years. The city’s wood tanks hold hundreds of millions of gallons of water and are often overlooked. Even the EPA, which monitors the health of New York City’s drinking water, agrees that the tanks need further research.

The city’s new water tank regulations will require buildings to have annual inspections and certify the condition of their tanks. If a building doesn’t do so, the Department of Buildings will fine it. In addition, city health officials say that they have been tracking waterborne illnesses and antidiarrhea drugs reported by doctors. They also have a list of buildings that have tanks.

There have been three cases of Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia, in the past year. However, city health officials believe that the outbreaks did not originate from the city’s drinking water tanks. Rather, they originated in the sewage systems.

Earlier this year, two of the city’s largest water tanks were closed after cracks in the bottom of the tanks made them susceptible to creatures. One of the tanks is located on Bald Hill Road, which holds 12 million gallons of water. Another tank is located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Centre Street, which holds 6.5 million gallons of water. Both will need to be replaced.

According to the city, the water in these tanks is protected by chlorine. But after it has been disinfected, bacteriological tests are conducted. These tests are meant to show how well the tank is cleaned and disinfected.

Until recently, the city did not have any way of knowing how many tanks there are. And the health department had not been able to conduct its own analysis of the wood tanks, which are considered to be one of the city’s oldest infrastructures.

But in February, the city requested revisions to the TCEQ requirement. The change is designed to ensure that the city’s distribution system is providing adequate water pressure. That¬†city line water tanks could mean that it is time to start construction on a fourth tower in the Nueces Bay area. Ultimately, the city plans to add 25,000 more water customer connections to its infrastructure. This will mean the completion of three more towers.

Despite the city’s attempts to sanitize its water tanks, bacterial slime, mud, and other contaminants build up at the bottom. These contaminants can be an incubator for microorganisms, especially bacteria, which can lead to a host of diseases. Some of these organisms are known to be particularly harmful to children and young people. Specifically, the bacteria known as mycobacterium can cause nontuberculous mycobacterial pulmonary disease.

It is possible that the self-reported sanitary defects of eight buildings may reflect their interpretation of city rules. But the truth is that the majority of building owners don’t even bother to check their water tanks.

Until now, the city’s inspections of water tanks have been done on an honor system. But the law changed last year, and now building owners are expected to submit inspection reports.

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