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Water Safety - New York Water - Residential

Water is one of the most important natural resources we have and Liberty has the privilege of being a steward of this precious commodity, but in some ways it can also be dangerous. Natural and manmade hazards involving water are a part of life, which Liberty strives to mitigate.

To protect citizens’ health, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) since 1974 has set national safety standards for drinking water.

As the nation’s largest publicly traded water service providers, Liberty takes that responsibility very seriously. In addition to working closely with the USEPA and state authorities to ensure that the water we provide customers meets federal and state safety standards, our researchers help the USEPA develop its standards and regulations.

We consistently score among the highest of all water companies when it comes to complying with strict federal regulations for delivering clean, quality drinking water with a current score of greater than 99% for drinking water compliance.

Additionally, over the past several years, and all over the country, we’ve received more than 150 awards for superior water quality from state regulators, industry organizations, individual communities, and government and environmental agencies.

Read the water quality report for your area 

Liberty also works cooperatively with federal and state regulators to support the development of new drinking water regulations that will benefit our customers.

  • Proper Disposal of Chemicals, Medications and Disposables

    Chemicals and medications are difficult and costly to remove during the wastewater treatment process. Some of them cannot be removed and end up back in streams and groundwater. It is important to properly dispose of the items below.



    Unused medications shouldn’t be kept where they might be abused, but flushing them down the drain is not a good option. By flushing them, they dissolve and become very hard to remove from the water, introducing the chemicals back into the environment. They also have the potential to create drug-resistant viruses and bacteria. The FDA recommends crushing unused medications up with small-grained waste and throwing it in the trash.

    Household chemicals:

    Like medications, these chemicals are very hard to remove during the wastewater treatment process. Many also have the potential to corrode your pipes. Check the instructions on the back of the container to find out how to best dispose of chemicals. Also check with your local county for hazardous chemical collection dates.

    Bathroom Wipes:

    Bathroom wipes — those thick, moist towelettes — are advertised as flushable and can, in fact, be flushed down the toilet. Once in the sewer system, however, studies have found they don’t break down. Instead they contribute to clogs in the pipes and pumps, requiring costly repairs. Other clogging culprits include baby wipes, paper towels, make-up removing towels, disinfecting wipes, and feminine products. These should all be disposed of in the trash.

  • Water is fun, but can be dangerous. It’s important to follow water safety practices while around water. That includes in the house or while enjoying a pool, lake, river or stream. Here are some good practices for water safety:

    • Always watch children around any source of water. It only takes a minute of having your back turned for an accident to happen. When watching kids around water, put distractions, such as cell phones and books, out of easy reach to ensure they have your full attention. You will not always be able to hear a drowning accident.
    • Don’t have standing water around for children to fall into. Empty tubs, wading pools, buckets and containers of liquid once you are done using them.
    • Keep toilet lids and bathroom doors closed with child locks.
    • Install a fence around your pool and keep the gate locked.
    • Learn CPR. It could save a life.

    For more information on children and water safety, contact your local county.

  • New York 811 reminds homeowners to “Call Before You Dig” to prevent damage to underground facilities and promote safe excavation, for both workers and homeowners.
    Calling before you dig helps keep your family and community safe. Homeowners should contact New York 811, by dialing 811, at least 48 hours but no more than 10 working days (excluding weekends and legal holidays) before beginning any digging project. Check out our fact sheet and process overview for more information.

    Liberty participates in and supports the 811 program, and reminds customers to “Know what’s below. Call before you dig.” For more information, visit the New York 811 website.

     New York 811  

    It’s important to call before starting any type of work involving digging. Examples include:

    • Landscaping
    • Digging holes for fence posts or a mailbox
    • Anchoring supports for decks and swings sets
    • Planting trees
    • Removing tree roots
    • Driving landscaping stakes into the ground
    • Installing a retainer wall

    Calling New York 811 is the only way to determine the exact location of a utility line or underground structure.

    By not calling, you risk:

    • Costly property or environmental damage
    • Explosion or fire on your property
    • Power or utilities services interruptions
    • Injury—or even death

    Remember, even if your digging project is small, it’s always best to call!

  • FOG stands for FATS, OILS, and GREASE. They hide in many places like baked goods and pastries, lard, butter, cream-based sauces, dairy, and gravy. Oils are fat in its liquid form, found in vegetable oils, margarine, and salad dressing. This also includes motor oil. Greases are made of meat drippings, greasy foods, etc.

    Why is F.O.G. bad?

    When fats, oils and greases enter the wastewater or septic system, they cool, solidify and stick onto the sides of the pipe. Over time, more layers build until the line is completely blocked, causing backup which can lead to clogged drains and toilets, raw sewage backing up into your home and environment, expensive clean up, repairs and replacements, unpleasant odors and potential public health risks.

    What should you do?

    • Pour cooled grease into a container with a lid, like an old jar or yogurt tub and throw it in the trash.
    • Use a paper towel to wipe the rest of the grease or oil from cookware and bakeware.
    • Scrape all food scraps into the trash.
    • Use a strainer in the sink to collect excess food particles.
    • Encourage your neighbors to do the same.

  • Fire fighters or police officers are often the first to arrive at a public safety emergency. These first responders are most likely to encounter the potential hazards of isolated flood hazards, road collapse or sewage spills. In an effort to help prepare first responders for situations they may encounter, Liberty Utilities meets and provides local responders with valuable information annually.

Environmental Safety