Newark residents take city to court over drinking water crisis

Newark residents and advocates have taken city officials to federal court over the ongoing crisis concerning lead-contaminated drinking water.

News 12 Staff

Aug 15, 2019, 3:56 PM

Updated 1,739 days ago

Share:

Newark residents and advocates have taken city officials to federal court over the ongoing crisis concerning lead-contaminated drinking water.
The concerned citizens filed a lawsuit demanding the city provide a safe source of drinking water for all city residents, not just some of them.
"We are filing for 10 cases of bottled water, door-to-door delivery per week to all the households, including households in the Wanaque water system, not just the Pequannock,” says Shakima Thomas with the Newark Water Coalition. “We are all affected here in Newark."
The Newark Water Coalition, along with the Natural Resources Defense and a Newark education workers caucus, filed the lawsuit Thursday at Newark Federal Court.
Hundreds of city residents have already been receiving free cases of bottled water after water filters originally given to them proved to not be as effective as officials thought.
“Glad they’re taking some important steps forward by offering bottled water to many residents, but we need a long-term fix for this problem,” says Eric Olsen with the NRDC. “We’re going to need assistance from the state government and from the federal government to actually fix this problem.”
Newark residents receive their water from two sources – the Pequannock Water Treatment Plant and the Wanaque Water Treatment Plant. So far only residents serviced by Pequannock have been eligible for the free bottled water.
“We still have residents being denied water bottles. You have residents being denied filters. You have a lot of misinformation coming out of the administration,” says Anthony Dias with the Newark Water Coalition. “There’s not one clear set of protocols being followed, and this is a problem.”
Newark's lawyers argue it’s not the city's responsibility to pay for water for the Wanaque area residents, primarily because Newark doesn't handle Wanaque water – that is handled by an outside coalition not involved in the case at this time.
An expert testifying on behalf of Newark officials said measures taken this year have reduced the risk of lead contamination for those residents in the Wanaque service area.
Testimony is expected to continue Friday.


More from News 12
1:52
Prosecution gears up for week 2 of Sen. Bob Menendez’s bribery trial

Prosecution gears up for week 2 of Sen. Bob Menendez’s bribery trial

1:48
Pleasant Monday kicks off workweek warm up in New Jersey

Pleasant Monday kicks off workweek warm up in New Jersey

1:41
Lantern ceremony in Montclair to honor Asian community who faced violence and injustice

Lantern ceremony in Montclair to honor Asian community who faced violence and injustice

1:53
Tour de Elizabeth takes cyclists through New Jersey's fourth-largest city

Tour de Elizabeth takes cyclists through New Jersey's fourth-largest city

0:30
Coast Guard boards anchored shipping vessel in Manasquan; no violations

Coast Guard boards anchored shipping vessel in Manasquan; no violations

0:23
Police: Haddonfield man faces charges for arson, stalking and vandalism

Police: Haddonfield man faces charges for arson, stalking and vandalism

0:17
Authorities: George Washington Bridge climber in custody

Authorities: George Washington Bridge climber in custody

1:42
Jersey Creators Market event in Jersey City brings street designers from all over Garden State

Jersey Creators Market event in Jersey City brings street designers from all over Garden State

1:45
 Missed swim lessons due to COVID-19 may be contributing to rise in child drownings

Missed swim lessons due to COVID-19 may be contributing to rise in child drownings

1:40
Red Bank's Broad Walk summer festival returns to downtown

Red Bank's Broad Walk summer festival returns to downtown

2:08
Residents get rid of junk during citywide ‘Love Newark, Keep It Clean’ campaign

Residents get rid of junk during citywide ‘Love Newark, Keep It Clean’ campaign

1:19
Bus catches fire on Garden State Parkway near Wall Township

Bus catches fire on Garden State Parkway near Wall Township

0:23
Prosecutor: Plainfield man sentenced to 5 years in prison for Bridgewater car crash

Prosecutor: Plainfield man sentenced to 5 years in prison for Bridgewater car crash

1:43
CDC urges people to get vaccinated amid resurgence of mpox

CDC urges people to get vaccinated amid resurgence of mpox

0:31
Police: Jersey City man arrested following pursuit spanning 2 counties

Police: Jersey City man arrested following pursuit spanning 2 counties

2:37
‘We’re asking to fight.’ Parents, students call on officials to save Wayne Catholic school from closing

‘We’re asking to fight.’ Parents, students call on officials to save Wayne Catholic school from closing

2:05
36th Annual Belmar Seafood Festival to take place this weekend at Silver Lake Park

36th Annual Belmar Seafood Festival to take place this weekend at Silver Lake Park

0:25
Prosecutor: Human remains found in 1 of 3 cars submerged in Cooper River in Pennsauken

Prosecutor: Human remains found in 1 of 3 cars submerged in Cooper River in Pennsauken

0:18
Newark police seek public’s help identifying package thief

Newark police seek public’s help identifying package thief

2:26
First full week of Sen. Menendez’s federal corruption trial comes to a close

First full week of Sen. Menendez’s federal corruption trial comes to a close