Aggravated, frustrated, ticked off: Newark deals with lead contamination

Posted: Updated:

Hundreds of Newark residents say that they are frustrated with the city’s response to a lead-contaminated water problem in the city.

The residents gathered for the third day to pick up free cases of bottled water due to the health issues. Some of the cases had expired dates on them, but health officials assured them that the water was safe to drink.

“I have my expired case of water, which I will wash with but won't be cooking or ingesting,” says resident Hellane Freeman.

Taisha Spellman says that she has nine grandchildren under the age of 6 who she is worried about.

RELATED: Gov. Murphy visits Newark amid lead-contaminated water crisis 
RELATED: Newark water distribution delayed after discovery it was expired 

“We get the call telling us that pregnant women and children under 6 shouldn't drink [the water], but my thing is, what happens to the children over 6, you know? That’s crazy. That doesn’t even make sense,” she says.

The lead issues come from the old water pipes running throughout Newark, and not from the reservoir in which the water originated.

City officials had given the affected residents water filters to help clean the water, but tests done on three homes found that the filters may not be working as well as expected. This is when the Environmental Protection Agency urged Newark officials to give residents bottled water.

CONTINUING COVERAGE: Newark drinking water crisis
MORE: 
Newark drinking water situation FAQ

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Gov. Phil Murphy toured a water distribution center Wednesday, while the governor assured the residents of Newark that more would be done. But officials admit that they do not know how long the process will take.

“I don’t blame the mayor. It’s just something that’s been going on. The only thing is, Ras [Baraka], I’m sorry sweetie, but you are here right now…just fix the problem,” Spellman says.

City officials say that there are plans to replace the old lead water pipes. But they say that the project is expected to take years and cost a lot of money.

Newark residents held a rally Wednesday evening to bring more attention to the issue.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."