CONTACT:       Patrick J. Becher, Executive Director

                        Mohawk Valley Water Authority


A story appeared in a Utica newspaper this morning, Monday, December 14, 2009 related to the purchasing of bottled water by Congressman Michael Arcuri’s office. The stated purpose for using bottled water was concerns over the quality of the drinking water.

The internal plumbing at the Utica federal building contains lead piping throughout. There has been a longstanding policy within this building not to consume water from the lavatory faucets. Signs have been in place for many years stating this precaution. The building management has had carbon filters in place on all drinking fountains for as many years to guard against any potential risk that lead levels could begin to rise when the water remains stagnant in the lead plumbing over a weekend. Lead piping was used for a brief period of building construction during the 1920’s.

“A water sample taken from the building this morning shows that the water entering the building is perfectly safe and meets or exceeds all drinking water standards,” said Patrick Becher, Executive Director. The Mohawk Valley Water Authority monitors water quality quite rigorously throughout the entire system to ensure that the quality remains fully in compliance with all State and Federal regulations. Becher added that “unfortunately, the comments attributed Congressman Arcuri’s office did not fully explain that any concerns they have are related to the internal plumbing of the building and not to the water coming into the building. The customers of the MVWA should know that the water they receive is as good as any public water supply in the nation.”

 The Mohawk Valley Water Authority serves approximately 130,000 people in Oneida and Herkimer Counties.