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EPA: Newark Should Provide Bottled Water; Filters May Not Protect Residents

August 11, 2019 - 1:42 pm

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says Newark should provide bottled water to residents with lead service lines after tests indicate filters may not be protecting them against elevated lead levels.

EPA officials say recent tests show drinking water in a few locations was still testing high for lead despite filters, so "out of an abundance of caution'' residents should use bottled water for drinking and cooking.

An EPA letter to Newark officials says bottled water should be provided "as soon as possible'' and asked to be notified of city plans by the end of business Monday.

Mayor Ras Baraka said Saturday the problem with the nationally certified filters isn't clear. He urged residents to flush the water for five minutes, but didn't mention the EPA's request for bottled water distribution.

Anyone concerned about lead poisoning in their children can get their blood test. Talk to your health care provider or the Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness at 973-733-5323.