Newark Moves Forward With Plan To Replace Lead Service Lines

Mar 13, 2019

Officials say applications to have lead lines replaced are on a first come first serve basis.
Credit Ang Santos / WBGO

The City of Newark is set to replace up to 1,500 lead service lines over the next year. 

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe says the state will work with Newark to replace roughly 15,000 lead service lines.  The Lead Service Line Replacement Program is expected to cost about $75 million over eight years.

“At his point our infrastructure is decaying, and these pipes need to be replaced with newer, safer, and more reliable materials, but that’s expensive,” she said.

The cost for the lead line replacement is a maximum of $1,000 for homeowners.  The city quotes a water line replacement of its type at regular cost anywhere between $3,000 to $7,000.

“We went and got a few quotes.  We found, me and my husband, $7,000 to $8,000 to change the lead service lines ourselves.  That is very expensive,” said Kristin Burks-Mullings, the first Newark homeowner to have lead lines replaced. “When we heard about Newark’s line replacement program and we’d only have an out of pocket max of $1,000, we signed up right away.”

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka says applications to have lines replaced are on a first come first serve basis.