The drinking water supply for offices of the New York City Department of Sanitation doesn’t even have a roof – just a tattered tarp. Photo by Frank G. Runyeon via City & State

New York City drinking water flows from some of the nation’s cleanest, most pristine reservoirs, but if your building or workplace relies on a water tower to store it, you may be consuming water that’s been contaminated by some very unsavory elements.

A recent investigation by City & State has shown that thousands of tanks across New York City are not properly or consistently inspected, cleaned, or repaired, even after revisions to the health and administrative codes now mandate annual filings.

Public health experts have warned that animals can easily get into New York City’s water tanks, and that sediments inside may contain pathogens that could cause disease outbreaks. These warnings were backed up by anecdotal evidence from employees that clean water tanks: think decomposing pigeons, dead squirrels, floating cockroaches.

According to the report, last year, only 34 percent of buildings with water tanks, or about 3,527 buildings, provided proof of a tank inspection.

Source: City & State