Since 2017, the City of Newark has found elevated levels of lead in drinking water in some homes/buildings. Lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Since exceeding the lead action level, theCity of Newark has obtained additional information; therefore, please read the information below and refer to Newark’s Public Education available at http://bit.ly/2CxbHcq for more information.
The City of Newark is comprised of two water service areas, the Pequannock and the Wanaque. The treatment plant serving the Pequannock area uses silica as a corrosion control inhibitor, where on the other hand, the Wanaque service area is served by the North Jersey Water SupplyCommission which uses an orthophosphate for corrosion control.
The City ofNewark received the preliminary results of a Lead and Copper Rule CorrosionControl Study “Compliance Study” last week showing that the corrosion control in the Pequannock service area is no longer effective, and it recommended that theCity implement new corrosion control measures to inhibit the release of lead into the drinking water.
As an immediate measure, the City launched a campaign to provide free drinking water filters that are certified by NSF for lead reduction to house holds known or suspected of havinglead service lines and/or lead plumbing elements within the Pequannock Service Area. The City of Newark, with technical support from NJDEP is evaluating and will implement new corrosioncontrol treatment.
This is an effort to reduce the risk of exposure to our residents during the period that new corrosion control measures are put in place. To verify if your home is affected please access the map located at https://www.newarkleadserviceline.com.
Free water filters can be picked up at the Department of Health and Community Wellness, located at 110 William Street, Newark and other locations listed below. The City will also work with community organizations and City employees to conduct a door to door canvass in the Pequannock service area to deliver water filters to those with lead service lines. An extensive public information campaign will be carried out including Spanish and Portuguese translations. In addition, the City will continue to provide free water testing to all customers (Pequannock and Wanaque service areas), for more information contact the Department of Water and Sewer Utilities at (973) 733-6303 or emailing email@example.com.
In the meantime, the New Jersey Department of Health recommends that bottled water be used for infants who are being fed with formula until water filters are received by impacted families who have lead service lines and/or plumbing that contains lead. In addition, pregnant women and children under the age of six should use bottled water until water filters are installed. Newark will immediately make every possible effort to target pregnant or nursing women, families with young children, and senior citizens with information about how to obtain and use filters using every means of communication at our disposal.
Children less than 6 years of age are at the highest risk and should be screened as soon as possible regardless of previous blood lead testing history. Children should be screened by their primary health care provider (where they receive routine care such as immunizations or when they are sick). New Jersey requires your health insurance carrier to pay for the costs of blood lead testing. A co-pay or co-insurance fee may be applicable. Children without insurance can receive blood lead testing free of charge from the Newark Department of Health and CommunityWellness. Additionally, children should be retested following the time frames provided by the child’s primary health care provider. If the blood lead level is 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) or higher, the NewarkDepartment of Health and Community Wellness will provide nurse case management and inspect your home to determine if there are other sources of lead to which your child may be exposed.
It is important to note that under these circumstances, for properties with lead service lines in the Pequannock service area, the standard practice of flushing tap water prior to use is not considered effective for reducing exposure to lead in drinking water. Residents are advised to not flush their home water lines by running tap water as it could increase lead levels. However, flushing the water tap is an effective step to reduce lead levels in drinking water in those homes with lead plumbing and without a lead service line.
Lead is introduced into the water when it dissolves out of lead service lines connecting Newark’s water supply to homes or lead plumbing including solder joints, pipes and fixtures within homes. Lead dissolving out of service lines is a widespread problem in cities across the nation. In Newark, the City owns the water mains, but does not own the service lines that connect the City water supply to homes. So any lead in water sampled at the taps of homes comes from the privately owned pipes.
In 1986, the use of lead in the installation or repair of any facility providing water for human consumption was banned. However, lead may be found in fixtures and other plumbing elements, even those labeled “lead free” prior to January 4,2014.
The filters and new corrosion control measures will supplement the City's Lead Service Line Replacement Program. With assistance from the state and federal governments theCity will help offset costs for property owners who replace their lead service lines.
In summary,Newark has an urgent four step program to help residents with lead service lines and lead plumbing elements:
1. Distribute certified water filter for drinking water to affected homes within the Pequannock service area
2. Evaluate and implement new corrosion-control measures throughout the City of Newark.
3. Help property owners replace their lead service lines throughout the City of Newark.
4. Newark will offer free water filters for any customer’s water sample result that exceeds 15 ppb after being tested by Newark’s Department of Water and Sewer.
The City of Newark is urgently mobilizing community groups and City employees to deliver filters because lead can pose a significant risk to one’s health if too much enters the body. Lead builds up in the body over many years and can cause damage to the brain, red blood cells and kidneys. The greatest risk is to young children and pregnant women. Amounts of lead that won’t hurt adults can slowdown mental and physical development of growing bodies. In addition, a child often comes into contact with other sources of lead contamination like dirt and dust that rarely affect an adult.
More information about testing children for lead can be found at: https://www.state.nj.us/health/childhoodlead/testing.shtml
For information about lead’s health effects:
call (800) 222-1222, 7 days a week, 24 hours daily
For an appointment to have your child tested for lead:
call (973) 733-5310, 7 days a week, 24 hours daily
Residents can have their water tested at no charge by contacting the Department of Water and Sewer Utilities at (973) 733-6303 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to request an inspection.
Fora website with information about Newark lead service lines, which homes have been affected and how to obtain and install water filters, please visit: https://www.newarkleadserviceline.com
Five (5) Recreation Centers along with the Water and Sewer Facility at 239 Central Avenue and the Health Department at 110 William Street will open for residents to obtain filters and replacement cartridges.
Recreation Center Hours:
Week of October 15th: Open Mon. - Fri. 7:00am - 8:00pm
Week of October 22nd: Tuesday - Friday Open 11:00am - 8:00pm, Saturday 9:00am - 6:00pm
Boylan Recreation Center – 916 South Orange Avenue,
John F. Kennedy Recreation Center – 211 West Kinney Street,
Vince Lombardi Center of Hope – 201 Bloomfield Avenue,
St. Peter’s Recreation Center – 378 Lyons Avenue,
Hayes Park West Recreation – 179 Boyd Street,
The Water and Sewer Facility -- 239 Central Avenue, Mon. - Sun. 9:00am - 10:00pm
Health Department — 110 William Street, Mon. - Fri. 8:30am - 4:30pm
*Please note:Times are subject to change based on demand.