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City Of Newark To Hand Out New Water Filters Amid Lead Contamination Concern

October 12, 2018 - 4:41 pm
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NEWARK, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- The City of Newark said Friday that it will begin handing out free new water filters for residents at risk of lead contamination, after a study showing its current corrosion control methods are no longer effective.

“We have, obviously, one of the oldest cities in the nation that still has lead solder in pipes and still has lead service lines. As a result of that, lead gets in the water system once it leaves the source and goes into people’s homes,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.

The City of Newark will be using other chemicals to control corrosion and will replace lead piping, but that will all take time.

“The city is going to use other chemicals around corrosion control. That will take the city anywhere between six to eight months to get that done,” Baraka said. “We also have, and have been working with the DEP, the governor’s office, the state, to make sure that we replace lead service lines. Replacing the lead service lines is going to take the city anywhere between five and eight years to do.”

Given the time that will be involved, the city will be giving out new filters.

“We’re acting by making sure that those folks that are affected in areas of the city will be getting a filter until we put the right chemical to provide the necessary corrosion control in people’s lead service lines so that they will not be affected by the lead that enters into their water at all,” Baraka said.

Beginning Saturday, filters can be picked up at the Boylan Recreation Center at 916 S. Orange Ave., and at the Department of Health and Community Wellness at 110 William St., between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

The city also says residents can have their water tested at no charge by contacting the Department of Water and Sewer Utilities at (973) 733-6303 or emailing waterandsewer@ci.newark.nj..us to request an inspection.

The city further says a website with information about Newark lead service lines, which homes have been affected and how to obtain and install water filters, can be found at https://www.newarkleadserviceline.com.

Five Recreation Centers, along with City Hall, Central Avenue and the Health Department will open for residents to pick up new filters and replacement cartridges. They are:

--Boylan Recreation Center: 916 South Orange Avenue

--John F. Kennedy Recreation Center: 211 West Kinney Street (entrance on Howard Street)

--Vince Lombardi Center of Hope: 201 Bloomfield Avenue

--St. Peter’s Recreation Center: 378 Lyons Avenue

--Hayes Park West Recreation: 179 Boyd Street

--The Water and Sewers Facility: 239 Central Avenue.

The recreation centers will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. during the week of October 15, and from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday the following week. City Hall and Newark’s Health Department will remain distribution locations Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The Water and Sewers Facility will operate from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, through November 1.​