Getting the lead out: Crews work to replace Newark’s old water pipes

Construction crews in the city of Newark are hard at work trying to replace old lead water pipes with pipes made of safer materials.

News 12 Staff

Sep 11, 2019, 11:23 PM

Updated 1,722 days ago

Share:

Construction crews in the city of Newark are hard at work trying to replace old lead water pipes with pipes made of safer materials.
The replacement project comes after it was discovered that the drinking water in Newark was tainted with lead. The water source is safe, according to officials. But they say that the issues come from the lead service lines delivering water to the homes.
City officials say that about 800 lead lines have been replaced since March. Wednesday on Sandford Avenue, work crews were excavating, filling and removing lead water pipes.
"The method we're using is a trenchless method. We're trying to replace the pipe by not digging a trench from the water main, from the road, all the way to people's properties,” says environmental engineer Tosin Aedtutu.
Aedtutu says that the process entails using compressed air and a ground-penetrating device called the bullet.
"They shoot that in from the house down to the water main, thereby creating a hole so they can push in the new copper pipe and pull out the old lead pipes,” he says. "It takes a lot of skill because we have other utilities in the ground. There's gas lines, sewer lines. There's old water lines."
Bob and Lona Smith have lived in the area for 35 years. Their lead service line was replaced last week. But Lona Smith says that the effort may be too little, too late.
“They come out and fixed all this but the damage has been done. You got lead in you, it's there,” she says.
It takes about four hours to replace a lead service line. Officials say that it will take between 24 and 30 months to completely replace the 18,000 lead lines in Newark.


More from News 12
2:07
Monmouth County police patrols to crack down on distracted driving

Monmouth County police patrols to crack down on distracted driving

1:33
Stormy weather lingers into Thursday morning; sun returns for afternoon

Stormy weather lingers into Thursday morning; sun returns for afternoon

2:08
‘We can’t wait for a catastrophe.’ Officials call for greater consequences for rowdy teens after Jersey Shore unrest

‘We can’t wait for a catastrophe.’ Officials call for greater consequences for rowdy teens after Jersey Shore unrest

2:22
Newark high school students earn 60 college credits early as part of dual enrollment program

Newark high school students earn 60 college credits early as part of dual enrollment program

0:31
Prosecutor: Man accused of trying to rob 2 gas stations, grocery store arrested in Virginia

Prosecutor: Man accused of trying to rob 2 gas stations, grocery store arrested in Virginia

0:50
Jersey Proud: Seton Hall pep band director to retire after nearly 40 years

Jersey Proud: Seton Hall pep band director to retire after nearly 40 years

2:09
Menendez bribery trial: Jurors see texts sent between senator and wife regarding Egyptian military aid

Menendez bribery trial: Jurors see texts sent between senator and wife regarding Egyptian military aid

2:15
Officials announce multimillion-dollar project to help improve Port of New York and New Jersey

Officials announce multimillion-dollar project to help improve Port of New York and New Jersey

0:23
Route 71 Bridge connecting Belmar to Avon-by-the-Sea to reopen Friday

Route 71 Bridge connecting Belmar to Avon-by-the-Sea to reopen Friday

1:56
New Jersey marks first day of early voting for presidential primary

New Jersey marks first day of early voting for presidential primary

0:29
Charges against world’s top golfer Scottie Scheffler dropped after arrest outside PGA Championship

Charges against world’s top golfer Scottie Scheffler dropped after arrest outside PGA Championship

0:23
Police: Ex-owner of Morley’s Magic Theater in Butler accused of possessing child sex abuse materials

Police: Ex-owner of Morley’s Magic Theater in Butler accused of possessing child sex abuse materials

0:24
Police: Woman wanted for questioning in Newark shooting

Police: Woman wanted for questioning in Newark shooting

0:52
Strikes loom at 3 New Jersey hospitals as union fights for better staff-to-patient ratios

Strikes loom at 3 New Jersey hospitals as union fights for better staff-to-patient ratios

0:26
$83 million grant to renovate Brick Church Station in East Orange

$83 million grant to renovate Brick Church Station in East Orange

0:20
Police: Suspect wanted for stealing packages from Tinton Falls residence

Police: Suspect wanted for stealing packages from Tinton Falls residence

1:32
Father’s Day Gift Ideas: Exclusive Deals – Up to 50% OFF!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas: Exclusive Deals – Up to 50% OFF!

0:20
Police: Loaded gun found in man’s carry-on bag at Newark Airport

Police: Loaded gun found in man’s carry-on bag at Newark Airport

2:20
Activists hold rally in opposition to NJ Turnpike expansion project in Hudson County

Activists hold rally in opposition to NJ Turnpike expansion project in Hudson County

Is your dad awesome? New Jersey tell us why your dad rocks!

Is your dad awesome? New Jersey tell us why your dad rocks!