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There’s no denying that the Flint, Mich., water crisis in 2014 shone a light on the issue of lead in drinking water and the potential hazards lurking underground in many cities and towns. There’s also no denying the nation’s infrastructure — including water mains — is aging and in need of replacement.
Officials in Newark, N.J., said thanks to the collaborative efforts of government officials and private parties, they’ve made “remarkable” progress in replacing the lead lines in the city, one of the oldest in the U.S. They could accelerate what was initially expected to be an 8- to 10-year project to a two- to three-year one.
Director of Water and Sewer Kareem Adeem said Newark’s first lead lines were installed in the 1850s, with the last one being installed in 1952. The city has good records going back that far, and through them, there are 18,700 known and another 6,000 unknown lead lines, for a total of 24,000. As of mid-May, the city has already abated almost 22,000 households and 19,000 lines.
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