Newark Meets Federal Standard For Lead Levels In Water After 3 Years

WCBS 880 Newsroom
July 02, 2020 - 4:24 pm
Newark water problem

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)


NEWARK, N.J. (WCBS 880) — Newark has made significant progress in addressing the high levels of lead in the city’s drinking water

After nearly three years, Mayor Ras Baraka announced Thursday that the city is meeting federal lead standards. 

He said the water has been undergoing extensive treatment and confirmed Newark’s numbers “are below 15 parts per billion.”

Officials had blamed the lead problems on aging pipes throughout the city, but Mayor Baraka said the pipes have been treated with orthophosphate to help limit corrosion.

"It probably took us two and a half years to do something that would have taken us 10," Baraka said.

Last summer, Newark started handing out bottled water, after tests found some of the water filters it gave residents weren't working.

Those filters have since been replaced.

Mayor Baraka said close to 13,000 main water lines have been repaired and crews, who have worked steadily through the pandemic, replace around 75 per day.

The city received $120 million from Essex County to help replace homeowners' lead pipes, which would cost the average homeowner between $6,000 and $10,000.

“These results prove the city of Newark is committed to delivering the purest water possible to our residents and the people of surrounding towns who consume our water,” the mayor said.

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