Newark has been distributing cases of bottled water for free, days after the federal Environmental Protection Agency urged city officials to do so. The EPA was responding to test results at three homes in the city that had turned upin two of them even though the homeowners had been using filters designed to eliminate lead contamination.
The issue of lead contamination is not a new one for Newark. It had already embarked on a Lead Service Line Replacement Program to change out approximately 15,000 lead service lines — the lines that bring water from the street to homes. Since March, according to a report by the city, it has replaced over 700 lead service lines on private property. It has been doing so in partnership with the state, at a maximum cost to homeowners of $1,000 even though the actual cost could be far higher.
There is no deadline for homeowners to apply for replacement of the lead service line that goes to their home. They simply have to register to be included in the program at.
In answer to frequently asked questions about the lead issue in Newark, the city noted, “The reality is that the cost of updating water infrastructure falls disproportionately on America’s older cities — often low-income communities of color.”