Newark residents hold rally, demand cleaner drinking water

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NEWARK -

Members of the Newark Water Coalition rallied in the Brick City Tuesday to demand cleaner drinking water.

The group hoped to raise awareness for what they are calling the city’s lead crisis. They are calling on Mayor Ras Baraka to do more to ensure that the city’s water is free of lead contamination. They say that they also want city officials to be more transparent about the issue.

Baraka delivered his fifth State of the City address Tuesday evening at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. He did speak about water contamination during the address. He said that it was a problem that he inherited and pointed out a handful of initiatives that his administration has already implemented to help solve the problem.

RELATED: New Jersey officials warn of elevated water contaminants in Newark 

Those initiatives include handing out water filters to city residents and a pipe replacement program.

“Tomorrow we break ground on a $70 million project, that with the help of Gov. [Phil] Murphy, our state Legislators and the department, will replace all lead service lines in Newark,” Baraka said.

The first phase of that replacement project begins Wednesday.

Baraka also said that any residents who still need water filters or who fear that they have high levels of lead in their water can get more information on the city’s website.

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