Interactive Map Shows Water Tank Inspections Neglect

An investigation from City & State NY has found widespread neglect in the thousands of weathered wooden tanks that supply drinking water to millions of New York City residents. After a review of city records, City & State NY found that most building owners still don’t inspect and clean their tanks as the law has required for years, even after revisions to the health and administrative codes that now mandate annual filings.

City & State has produced an interactive map of 13,000 water tank inspection reports that the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) provided. The inspection data covers reporting years 2015, 2016, and 2017. Every year, building owners and water tank cleaning companies are required to submit this information to the city as proof that they inspect their tanks annually and test them for bacteria—rules designed to keep water tanks safe for New Yorkers to drink from. Owners must submit a report as proof before Jan. 15 of the following year. If no report is filed, the city considers that evidence that the tank wasn’t checked for sanitary or structural defects.

The latest building-by-building inspection data that’s available through the city portal can be found here.  

The City & State NY interactive map of water tank inspection results from 2015 to 2017 can be found here.