Project to change out lead water service lines in Newark almost complete
The massive task of changing out lead service lines throughout the entire city of Newark is almost finished.
Crews continued working Monday along Grand Avenue to tear up pavement in front of homes. Some 15,000 out of 18,000 lead lines have been replaced with new copper pipes for the water supply.
"Before COVID, we were doing 120 lines a day," says Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. "These guys were knocking it out."
Mayor Baraka lives in an older home in Newark. He had his lines relaced and after testing the water found lead levels between two to three parts per billion. That allowed his family to pull off the filter and start drinking from the tap.
"Well that makes me feel a little more comfortable," says Shanique Graves, of Newark. "If my mayor drinks it, I can drink it too."
The entire project is getting done thanks to Essex County providing a $120 million bond.
"This generation is going to be the one that removes lead from the city," says Kareem Adeem, director of the Department of Water. "It's awesome, and we are doing it for free. Free water filters, free water testing, and free lead service line replacement."