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New York receives a C- for drinking water infrastructure, but improvements are ongoing

The Onondaga County Water Authority plant.

A group of engineers says New York state’s water supply systems need some upgrades.

The American Society of Civil Engineers released its 2022 Report Card just last week. And it gave the state’s drinking water infrastructure a C-.

The report says aging distribution systems and facilities are largely responsible for the lower mark.

Some pipes and components are over 100 years old.

The Executive Director of our region’s water authority Jeff Brown said it’s not unexpected.

“Not much surprised us about it, you know, we, being in the industry know what the issues are impacting our ability to provide safe, reliable drinking water. I would say, you know, this is a global report covering all of New York State, from Long Island, New York City, all the way up here to Upstate,” Brown said.

But Brown said the Onondaga County Water Authority, OCWA, is actively working on repairs.

“...We understand piping is the biggest cause for concern. Some of the piping we have is 100 years old. So we have put $50 million into that over the past decade, and we roughly put in five to $10 million every single year into updating our piping,” Brown said.

OCWA is also in the middle of an $85 million upgrade to the Lake Ontario treatment facility, which accounts for about half of the county’s water supply.

This reporting comes from WAER's Syracuse Speaks.