Belleville mayor worried about lead contamination amid Newark water crisis

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The mayor of Belleville is demanding filters and bottled water for his residents because he says the issues plaguing Newark’s water supply also impact his town.

Mayor Michael Melham says that his community should be getting as much support as Newark is in dealing with a lead-contamination issue.

“The residents of Belleville drink the same water as the residents of Newark do,” the mayor says.

Melham points out that Belleville buys its water from Newark. He says that corrosion treatment of pipes by Newark has fallen short, putting Belleville residents at risk.

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

“We have an abundance of lead levels in our residential pipes,” he says, based on water tests conducted this June.

The mayor is urging women who are pregnant or who are nursing, children and elderly and those who are ill to flush their faucets for several minutes before drinking the water. He also suggests buying bottled water.

Melham says that he thinks that the state should provide the town with filters and bottled water. He will be meeting with state lawmakers this week to look for solutions.

The mayor says that residents in Belleville’s Silver Lake section may be the most directly affected by the contamination. They are served by Newark’s water delivery system.

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