Tap Into Newark
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NEWARK, NJ — The Newark lead service line replacement program is now in its final stage, the city announced Monday, just two months after it declared its lead levels below the federal safety standard of 15.4 parts per billion (ppb).
Mayor Ras Baraka, whose line at his South Ward home has already been replaced, went through the waiting and testing period following installation. He said he and his family drink from the tap with confidence.
“My wife was beating me over the head until it happened, I have a small child in my house,” he joked. “We did ours early before this program came out, ours came back 2 or 3 ppb, and so we stopped using the filter ourselves.”
In early July, officials reported that the use phosphoric acid orthophosphate in its Pequannock water system — where the previous corrosion inhibitor failed in 2017 and caused lead to leach from Newark’s aging service lines into the drinking water — succeeded in bringing lead levels to 14.1 ppb for the January-June 2020 testing period. Samples are collected and tested every six months, according to Newark Water and Sewer Director Kareem Adeem.
After a troubled start to addressing its water crisis in 2017, Newark can now boast an accomplishment that officials said no other city with lead water issues can: In 1.5 years, the municipality has replaced 15,000 lead service lines through its five wards.
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NEWARK, NJ — More than a year has passed since Newark got a $120 million bond from Essex County to help it tackle its lead water contamination woes. But now – after replacing nearly 15,000 of 18,000 aging, privately owned service pipes – the investment has clearly begun to pay off, officials say.
On Monday, Newark officials announced that the city's Lead Service Line Replacement program has reached its final stage. It's a big milestone for Newark, which went into crisis mode after the discovery of elevated levels of lead in the water supply at thousands of local homes.
Newark briefly turned to bottled water and filters as stopgap solutions while it put several long-term fixes into play. One of those fixes – replacing thousands of lead-lined pipes at local homes – got a major boost in August 2019 when Essex County helped the city to borrow $120 million in funding to speed up the process.
The money helped Newark to follow through on a promise to help cash-strapped homeowners by completely paying for a project that can normally cost thousands of dollars. Now, more than 83 percent of those lines have been replaced with copper pipes – at no cost to taxpayers or residents, officials said.
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When you’re responsible for delivering a clean, safe and reliable drinking water supply to a quarter of Colorado’s population, understanding the different languages, ethnicities, race, religions and socioeconomic backgrounds that make up your community is a must.
Especially when it comes to launching the largest public health initiative in Denver Water’s history, the Lead Reduction Program, which will remove an estimated 64,000 to 84,000 lead service lines in the utility’s service area over 15 years at no direct cost to the customer.
How has Denver Water made sure that it’s effectively working with and communicating in every community regardless of status, background or language?
According to Meg Trubee, communications, outreach and education manager for Denver Water’s Lead Reduction Program, diversity and inclusion were top priorities from the beginning.
“We developed a team of experts to focus on reaching as many people in the program as possible,” she explained. “It all started with a lot of data and research.”
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After decades of forcing Chicagoans to install lead water lines in their homes, the city is finally launching a program to remove them.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday announced Chicago’s inaugural plan to address its huge inventory of toxic lead lines – a problem that was exacerbated by some mayors, ignored by others and is now being cautiously approached by the latest.
“This is an important first step in a long overdue process,” Lightfoot said at a press conference with officials from the city’s Water and Public Health Departments.
With 400,000 lead service lines lurking beneath Chicago homes, the city faces the worst documented lead line problem in the nation. About 80 percent of all Chicago homes are still connected to water mains through these lines, which can release lead into drinking water. Voluntary tests in Chicago detected lead in more than two thirds of all homes tested. And about one third of all tested homes had more lead in their water than is allowed in bottled water.
National health authorities stress that no level of lead exposure is safe, as it can contribute to heart attacks, hypertension and kidney problems in adults and impulsivity and learning difficulties in children.
NBC 5 Chicago
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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced new assistance programs to help qualifying homeowners replace lead water lines across Chicago.
The Equity Lead Service Line Replacement Program will provide full replacement for low-income residents that own and live in their home, have a household income below 80-percent of the median income and have consistent lead concentrations above 15 ppb in their water, according to a press release from the Mayor's office.
“The water in Chicago is safe, and is in full compliance with all federal, state and industry standards,” Lightfoot reassured during Thursday’s press conference. “What we are talking about today, however, is making sure that we go even further to ensure the safety and health of our residents in the future.”
The city will cover costs in full if a qualified homeowner opts-in to the program and will be paid for by up to $15 million in community development block grant funds in 2021.
“Lead service lines are a legacy issue that we need to start chipping away at now and that happens by moving in the right direction in a responsible way,’ Lightfoot said. “I want to be clear that doing the extensive network of legacy lead service lines is a steep and costly mountain that we will need to climb.”
Under the program, qualified homeowners will receive a replacement of the service line from the water main up to the home and homes and two flats will receive a water meter if there is not already one installed, according to the press release.
Also on Thursday, the city announced an additional program called the Homeowner-Initiated Lead Service Line Replacement Program that will waive permit fees for homeowners to hire an outside contractor to conduct the lead pipe replacement.
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