To encourage students to drink more tap water and use reusable water bottles instead of disposable ones, we have supported the installation of water bottle filling stations around campus.
For your convenience, we have provided a map to help you find the filling station closest to you.
Check out these stations, which look like this:
Is tap water on campus safe to drink?
Yes! The quality of water treated by the Cornell University Water Filtration Plant is consistently far superior to that required by the standards of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New York State Department of Health. According to one of the plant operators, there has never been a single incident in his memory where disease or poisoning was the result ofdrinking CUWS water. In response to an upstream oil spill in the 1990s, the facility stopped its operations for two days until the contamination had left the intake points. Whenever you turn on the tap or use a water fountain on campus, you can drink assured that each drop is the product of excellent professionalism and concern for your health and well-being.
What happens during the Water Treatment Process?
- Collection: Water enters one of two intake points at Fall Creek, a 125-square mile watershed that begins in the tributaries of Lake Como, Cayuga Country.
- Flocculation and Sedimentation: Polyaluminum chloride (PAC) causes suspended impurities to gather into clumps, thus increasing the speed at which they settle to the bottom of the tank and are removed from the water.
- Filtration: Water is pumped through one of six filters, each containing a layer of anthracite coal, a layer of sand, a layer of gravel, and a layer of pebbles, all which catch remaining fine particles and microorganisms.
- Chlorination: Sodium hypochlorite is added as a disinfectant, effectively inactivating existing pathogens and preventatively inhibiting their future growth.
- Distribution: Clean potable water is delivered through pipes to buildings on the Cornell University campus as well as in the Cornell Heights and Forest Home communities.
Read the Cornell Water Quality Report to learn more about the water treatment process!
- Turbidity, chlorine residual, pH (acidity/alkalinity), and temperature - Continuously (with inline meters)
- Escherichia coli (E. coli) and other coliform bacteria - Daily
- Cryptosporidium and Giardia - Quarterly
- Various organic and inorganic chemicals - Quarterly