Judge: Newark areas covered by Wanaque system not eligible for bottled water

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A federal court has ruled that areas in Newark covered by the Wanaque system are not eligible for free bottled water.

The judge ruled against the Natural Resources Defense Council and its efforts to sue the City of Newark for not providing areas serviced by the Wanaque treatment system with free water bottles.

Residents served by the Wanaque treatment system did not qualify for free water from the city, even though some houses in the area have experienced elevated lead levels.

The NRDC wanted to change this and provide free water bottles for residents city-wide, but the federal judge ruled that the water from the Wanaque system was safe to drink.

MORE: Newark water lead contamination resources
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Court: Newark residents serviced by Wanaque System not eligible for free water
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Newark Mayor Ras Baraka issued a statement after the court’s decision, saying, "The City of Newark has been focused and will continue to focus on our plan to provide all residents with clean, safe, and healthy water." She also says the only permanent solution is to replace every remaining lead service line.

Residents served by the Pequannock System will still receive bottled water for free. They can get water at a variety of locations around Newark, including Bo Porter Sports Complex and the Newark Department of Health and Wellness.

The Boylan Street Recreation Center is one of the few water distribution centers spread throughout Newark where residents can get the water they need. Residents have been lined up to get water at the center for hours. Trucks have also come through to the center to provide thousands of gallons of water. But residents say it is only a temporary fix to the problem.

Newark leaders announced on Monday they would move forward with a $120 million plan to replace the old pipes.



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