Most New Yorkers go about their days using water to bathe, make coffee, wash their hands or flush the toilet without much thought to where it originates.
But behind each drop of water is a journey that can begin up to 125 miles away in upstate New York.
Along the way, it gets disinfected by ultraviolet light, treated with chlorine, fluoridated and tested for purity. It travels through mountains and deep valleys and, once in the city, flows underground in tunnels and into distribution chambers. A billion gallons of water are delivered -- and consumed -- each day, with gravity alone being sufficient to push it into buildings at least six stories high.
To learn more about how the city gets its drinking water, amNewYork turned to the folks at the Department of Environmental Protection, the agency that regulates the vast water supply.
"So many New Yorkers take the amazing system that we have for granted," said Jim Roberts, a DEP deputy commissioner. "It is to a large extent out of sight and out of mind."
Watersheds, reservoirs and lakes
A well protected water source
Miles of aqueducts