Bottled water coming to Newark residents after elevated lead levels still found in filtered water

Kimberly Dole
August 12, 2019 - 7:17 am
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy

© Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com

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NEWARK, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- New Jersey officials are promising to deliver bottled water to residents after elevated lead levels were found in two of three homes in Newark, NJ that were using filters meant to be protecting them.  

The testing was done by the city of Newark, using city-issued water filters.

New Jersey Governor Philip Murphy and Newark’s Mayor, Ras Baraka, said in a joint statement that they would provide bottled water at four local centers, starting as early as Monday afternoon.

"Access to safe drinking water is critically important to our administrations and we take health risks associated with lead in drinking water very seriously," the statement said.

The joint statement came after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said recent tests had shown that drinking water in a few locations was still testing high for lead despite filters, and "out of an abundance of caution'' residents should use bottled water for drinking and cooking.

Now Mayor Baraka and the governor say they will provide bottled water to all in the affected areas of Newark - the water will start to be handed out Monday at 3pm.

"In coordination with the city of Newark, Mayor Baraka and I are prepared to do everything the city needs, including making bottled water available to local residents," Governor Murphy said.

"As we carefully evaluate our options and the data available to us, it is important to understand that the City and State will need support and assistance from the federal government if bottled water is to be provided and distributed to impacted residents." Governor Murphy added.

Experts expect to see a reduction of lead levels by the end of this year after the corrosion control optimizes. As part of the City's initial filter testing, the engineers saw positive signs that the orthophosphate is in the distribution system, and we are optimistic that the orthophosphate will eventually provide the protective coating necessary to prevent leaching from lead pipes.

Families in the Pequannock service area with lead services lines who have received filters can pick up water at the following locations:

The City of Newark Department of Health and Wellness
110 William Street

Bo Porter Sports Complex
378 Lyons Avenue

Boylan Street Recreation Center
916 South Orange Avenue

Bottled water will be available as the extensive testing continues and the samples and data analyzed.

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