Newark Replacing Pipes To Address Lead In Drinking Water

Kevin Rincon
January 14, 2020 - 10:48 am
NJ Replacing Lead Pipes

City of Newark

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Newark is working to curb lead in the drinking water by replacing lead pipes around the city.

Kareem Adeem, the city's Acting Director of Water and Sewer Utilities, said lead levels in the city have dropped in the last six months. He says they're moving closer to the federal acceptable levels of 15 parts per billion – right now, they're at 17.3.

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.

In 2019, the city set out to replace all 18,000 lead service lines. So far, they've done more than 5,000.

"I want them to know we're coming," Adeem said to homeowners waiting for their new pipes. "We're gonna get to you."

Clarence Drakes was one of the first residents to get his pipes replaced.

"I've been here 34 years," he told WCBS 880's Kevin Rincon, "but to know that for the next 34 years this is not going to be one of the things that I'm concerned about, that's huge."