New York's non-kosher water begins to bug the city's Orthodox Jews

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The Independent US

As home to Seinfeld , delis and the best bagels in the world, New York is indelibly linked to Jewish culture. But the Jews have made a shocking discovery: The city's water is not kosher.

As home to Seinfeld , delis and the best bagels in the world, New York is indelibly linked to Jewish culture. But the Jews have made a shocking discovery: The city's water is not kosher.

Two weeks ago, millimeter-long crustaceans known as copepods were discovered in the water. Although the tiny creatures pose no threat to public health, under Jewish law the eating of crustaceans, aquatic animals with skeletons outside their bodies, including shrimp, crabs and lobsters, is forbidden.

Sales of filters have rocketed in heavily Orthodox Brooklyn, and restaurants and bakeries were advised to further filter to ensure purity. "We hope the city will do something to purify and filter the water to accommodate a few hundred thousand Orthodox, observant Jews," Rabbi Abraham Zimmerman of the Orthodox Satmar sect said.

But the Department of Environmental Protection, which controls the reservoirs, said to eliminate the copepods would be impossible and the micro-organisms provide health benefits to the reservoirs. Two weeks ago, an Israeli company was accused of selling vegetables contaminated with insects, a violation of kosher laws. The company said the bugs were introduced when the produce was washed in New York water.

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