Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced that the City of Newark will wind down distribution of bottled water to residents, except for pregnant women and families with children under the age of six. Preliminary testing results performed by the city, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency showed that 97 to 99 percent of filters tested removed lead below the federal action level.
Tests showed properly installed PUR filters, distributed by the city, were 97 percent effective without flushing. After an extended period of non-use, running the water to flush out lead before using the filter is the best way to minimize exposure to lead.
Beginning Tuesday, October 8, bottled water distribution will end at recreation centers. Only PUR water filters and replacement cartridges will be available at the following three recreation centers:
· St. Peter’s Recreation Center, 378 Lyons Avenue
· Boylan Street Recreation Center, 916 South Orange Avenue
· Vince Lombardi Center of Hope, 201 Bloomfield Avenue
The hours of operation are as follows: Tuesday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Residents should be advised the recreation centers will be back to their regular hours next week and will be closed on Mondays.
Pregnant women and families with children under six years of age, can pick up two cases of bottled water every two weeks Monday through Friday at the Newark Health Department WIC Program and the Shani Baraka Women’s Resource Center.
At the Newark WIC Program at the Department of Health and Community Wellness, located on 110 William Street, water will be available Monday, Tuesday Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and the second and fourth Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
At the Shani Baraka Center, located at 300 Clinton Avenue, water will be available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In the meantime, the city is moving at a pace where 50 lead service lines a day are being replaced. The city is aiming to replace 18,000 lead service lines in approximately 24 to 30 months.
With a $120 million bond backed by Essex County, the city will replace the lines with no cost to residents. When the job is completed, Newark will be the first city in the Northeast and only the third in the country to replace all lead service lines.
- NEWARK -