Newark residents given free bottled water due to lead contamination

Posted: Updated:

Some Newark residents are eligible to receive free bottles of water due to high levels of lead contamination.

Newark residents were previously given free water filters to put on their taps. But EPA officials said that these filters were not sufficient enough to protect residents from lead. Lead-contaminated water can cause brain damage in children.

The city says that "a small sample of water filters (2 of 3) provided to the City of Newark may not be removing lead to the low levels expected by city, state and federal officials."

RELATED: Bottled water to be given to Newark residents affected by elevated lead levels
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"Out of an abundance of caution, we are advising residents in the Pequannock area, with lead service lines to run their water for 5 minutes before filtering for maximum protection,” says Mayor Ras Baraka.

Lead levels in Newark have been high in recent months at 52 parts-per-billion, according to officials. The EPA says that anything over 15 parts-per-billion is dangerous to one’s health.

Newark started to send Orthophosphate through its water treatment plant in Pequannock in May. This coats the pipes to keep the lead from releasing.

The free water will be available to residents who were eligible for the free water filters – about 40,000 Newark residents.

The four locations for bottled water are:

The City of Newark Department of Health and Wellness
110 William Street

Bo Porter Sports Complex
378 Lyons Avenue

Boylan Street Recreation Center
916 South Orange Avenue

Vince Lombardi Center
201 Bloomfield Avenue

City officials say that the water will be available while they “continue to conduct extensive testing and sample and analyze the data” of the water.

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