A recent independent study of Newark’s water supply showed a portion of the system as ineffective against preventing lead exposure to residents.
“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 line’s, so they won’t be affected by the lead that enters into their water at all,” Mayor Ras Baraka said.
An estimate between 20 to 30 thousand Newark city residents could be exposed to dangerous levels of lead in their drinking water, but Baraka wants to make it clear that many areas in the city are safe.
“Everybody does not need a water filter. There have been specific areas of the city that have been affected by this. Those people will be given filters. We are starting the distribution off with families with women that are pregnant, with small children, and the elderly in households.”
Baraka says the city’s East Ward is completely safe from lead exposure.
“We do have a list of areas that are affected that will be made available to the public. So, you will know if your household is in that area or if your house is directly one of the ones. If you’re not sure and you live in that area, you can get tested as well.”
The water filtration company PUR has supplied the city with 20,000 filters, Baraka says Newark will purchase more to double that number. The city will provide replacement cartridges for the filters to residents until the lead corrosion control issue is resolved.
You can visit newarkleadserviceline.com for information on which homes have been affected and how to obtain free water filters from the city.