New York Gov.
Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday declared a statewide water emergency, which means any person under the age of 50 is considered at risk for drinking water contamination and is required to boil water.
Cuomo, who said he would declare the state a disaster area later Wednesday, is calling on residents to boil tap water to protect the health of their children.
The governor said residents could boil their own water or use bottled water that contains chlorine, fluoride or other disinfectants.
Cuomo said residents can boil their water in a pot and then bring the water to a local tap, but he said residents must take steps to prevent it from being contaminated with lead, which can leach into drinking water.
Cuomo’s declaration comes just days after Gov.
Jerry Brown ordered the state to begin replacing some of its aging water treatment plants.
The state’s aging water system has long been at risk of contamination from lead and other toxins.
The federal government is requiring the state and local governments to begin converting some of the plants to more efficient methods of handling the water.
The Cuomo administration has said it has no plans to shut down the aging water plant at the Westchester County plant that supplies drinking water to New York City and more than half of the state.