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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

Division of Water

Mark Klotz, Director
Tom Cullen, Assistant Director

a photo of Loon Lake at sunset
Loon Lake at sunset

Welcome to the Division of Water webpage! The Division conducts a wide variety of programs to protect and conserve New York's waters. On this page you will find information about the Division's recent activities and useful information about the Division's programs.

What's New in the Division of Water?

The Division of Water uses this page to highlight new water-related information that we think may interest you. Topics are typically posted here for about 30 days. If a topic has a specific end date (such as a public comment period or an event), the description is removed after the end date. This page is updated weekly. Topics on this page are announced via the MakingWaves email list.

You can subscribe to MakingWaves and other DEC-related topics by visiting DEC's email update webpage. If you already receive updates from DEC, you can manage your subscription on this page too.

Drug Enforcement Administration to Collect Prescription Drugs

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will conduct a nationwide prescription drug collection on Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM. Collections will be held at many locations around New York and are the best way to dispose of unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

How do I find a collection location near me?

Collection locations are posted on the DEA National Take Back Initiative webpage (a direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" section of the right-hand column of this page).

In addition to the DEA collection on April 26, other collections are scheduled in many New York counties. Visit DEC's Household Drug Collection Schedule webpage to see if a collection is scheduled in your area. Many collections are available more often than the DEA collection.

More about drugs in New York's waters

For more information about drugs in our water, visit DEC's Drugs in New York's Waters webpage, dontflushyourdrugs.net.

In the past, flushing was considered the best way to dispose of unwanted medication. Because of increased awareness of the potential effects of medications on aquatic life, collections are now considered the best way to dispose of unwanted household drugs. If a collection is not available or convenient, drugs can be placed in household trash. For more information, visit DEC's drug disposal Information for Households webpage.

Reminder: State Law Limits Use of Lawn Fertilizers and Sale of Dishwasher Detergents that Contain Phosphorus

DEC reminds New Yorkers of the state law that limits the use of lawn fertilizers that contain phosphorus and the sale of dishwasher detergents that contain phosphorus.

The lawn fertilizer provisions of the Dishwasher Detergent and Nutrient Runoff Law include a prohibition on the use of phosphorus lawn fertilizer unless establishing a new lawn or a soil test shows that the lawn does not have enough phosphorus, and a requirement that retailers display phosphorus fertilizers separately from non-phosphorus fertilizers. The law does not affect agricultural fertilizer or fertilizer for gardens.

The law also prohibits the sale of phosphorus-containing dishwasher detergents for both household and commercial use. The law does not change the phosphorus limits for detergents used to clean dairy and food processing equipment.

Visit DEC's Dishwasher Detergent and Nutrient Runoff Law webpage for a full description of the law and its requirements.

Reducing Phosphorus Improves Water Quality

Less phosphorus used means less phosphorus in wastewater and stormwater runoff, which improves water quality, reduces water treatment costs, and provides better opportunities for recreational uses of New York's waterbodies.

Comment Period & Information Sessions for Environmental Impact Statement for Proposed Turbidity Control in Water Diverted from Ashokan Reservoir

DEC is accepting comments until July 8, 2014 on the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to be developed for methods to control turbidity in the portion of the New York City watershed known as the Catskill Water Supply System. The EIS will also evaluate potential impacts to the Ashokan Reservoir, Lower Esopus Creek and Kensico Reservoir.

The purpose of the scoping process is to identify the environmental factors that should be included in the EIS. DEC is looking for comments that relate directly to the draft scope or items that may have been omitted from the draft scoping documents.

In addition to the comment period, DEC will hold four public information sessions in May to discuss the scope of the EIS. More information is in DEC's April 9 press release about the comment period and on DEC's Ashokan Reservoir webpage.

Water Week to be Celebrated in New York May 4-10 in 2014

Mark your calendars for Water Week 2014! This year's theme is "Water Recreation in New York." The ice is melting from lakes and ponds and the time to play in and near water is upon us. New York has many choices for safe and healthy water recreation, more choices than there were 40 years ago. Clean water for recreation in New York is the result of hard work over the past four decades by DEC, its partners and local stakeholders. If you enjoy swimming, boating or fishing in New York, we encourage you to learn more about our valuable water resources and join the effort to restore, protect and conserve them. If you are already a water steward, encourage friends and colleagues to join you!

So, get ready to celebrate Water Week with us! To get started, find ideas on DEC's Watershed Stewardship and Local Watershed Association webpages.

Updates to Long Term Control Plan Webpage

DEC has updated its webpage describing Long Term Control Plans. Long Term Control Plans are part of the strategy used by DEC to reduce the frequency, duration and intensity of combined sewer overflows in communities with combined sewer systems.

The updated webpage describes the two phases of a Long Term Control Plan and how DEC monitors compliance with its combined sewer overflow control policy.

Translation Feature Added to DEC Website

DEC recently added a translation feature to its website. At the top of each page is a "Translate" link that will translate the page into any of the languages listed. Chinese, Haitian-Creole, Italian, Korean, Russian and Spanish are among more than 40 language choices.

Update to Sewage Discharge Webpages

DEC has updated several webpages related to the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Law and sewage discharge reporting. The updates include information about what the law does for sewage pollution, educational information on sewage and the systems that collect and transport it, and what can be done to reduce sewage pollution. A link to the London "Fatberg" video has also been added.

Request for Applications for Environmental Excellence Awards

DEC is accepting applications for the 2014 Environmental Excellence Awards program. All applications are due by close of business on May 9, 2014.

Eligible applicants include businesses, educational institutions, not-for-profit organizations, government agencies, and individuals implementing innovative, sustainable actions or working in creative partnership to improve and protect New York's environmental resources and contribute to a viable economy.

Articles about Water by Division of Water Staff

Division of Water employees regularly write articles for the magazine Clearwaters, the quarterly publication of the New York Water Environment Association. The DOW Library webpage webpage houses these, and other, water-related articles written by DOW staff and others in DEC.

Division Web Pages

Carpenter Falls
Carpenter Falls

The Division of Water's information on the web falls mainly into one of the two following locations:

  • Water Pollution Control - Information, guidance material and forms on the various programs the Division of Water administers to control sources of water pollution.
  • Lands and Waters - Water resource information is divided into the following categories:
    • Watersheds, Lakes Rivers: Information on NYS watersheds and other water bodies
    • Oceans & Estuaries: NYS marine and estuary resource information
    • Groundwater: Aquifer and groundwater information & resources
    • Dam Safety, Coastal & Flood Protection: Program information related to flood protection, floodplain development, dam safety, and coastal management
    • Water Supply & Reclamation: Information on protecting New York's public water supplies and drought information

Division's Mission

The Mission of the Division of Water is to protect and conserve the water resources of New York State. This mission is accomplished through a wide range of programs and activities. Some of these are statewide in their scope and apply to all parts of the state. Other efforts are targeted to address water quality and quantity issues in specific regions of the state, focusing on waterbodies or watersheds where these issues are of particular concern. Still other programs target specific contaminants (e.g., mercury) or sources (e.g., stormwater runoff) or impacts (e.g., acid rain) of pollution.

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