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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