The quality of New York City water has long been of, well, consuming interest. Lately, however, trendsetting developers like Douglaston Development, the Durst Organization, Extell Development, Rockrose, Rose Associates and Silverstein Properties have taken matters into their own hands by specifying central water filtration systems for their new buildings here. Some builders are going even further by equipping kitchens with high-end filters to obviate the need for bottled water. The Helena, a 600-unit, LEED gold-certified Midtown residential property built by Durst and managed by Rose Associates, was the first local project to feature twice-filtered water. If this trend takes off, it will certainly have positive environmental implications.

According to the Container Recycling Institute, more than 60 million plastic bottles are discarded every day—and that’s just in America. Demand for bottled water has grown so rapidly that even the best efforts at recycling cannot keep up. A dozen years ago, two out of five bottles were recycled; by 2005, the number had fallen to one out of six. When you think about the environmental impact of manufacturing and distributing bottled water in the first place—every bottle sold in Manhattan must be trucked in—the case for water filtration becomes crystal clear.

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