What to Know
- City aims to get all 18,000 such lines replaced within three years. The challenge? Finding thousands of landlords to get their permission
- City advanced ordinance to be able to access property; That controversial measure will be touched upon at the next city council meeting
- The long-term plan to fix lead levels in the water is to put $120 million towards replacing the lead pipes for thousands of households
Cases of water sit in the mud room of an Eastern Parkway home in Newark, New Jersey, overlooking the lead service line replacement work that should soon make these bottles unnecessary.
However, the homeowner here -- the first to have his service line replaced under the new accelerated schedule using $120 million in bond money -- is apprehensive to give up the bottled water.
"I’m going to take a sample when this is done and have it analyzed to see if it’s clear to drink because I don’t really trust, you know," Newark resident Jimmy Graham said.
The actual work of replacing the lead pipes can be done in a day. After the holes are dug, the process of pulling the old lead line out takes just a couple of minutes.
The promise from the city is to get all 18,000 such lines replaced within three years. The challenge? Finding thousands of landlords to get their permission.
"Which is why the city advanced this ordinance that would allow us to go on people's property without their permission to do this,' Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said.
That controversial measure will be touched upon at the next city council meeting.
Not far away, News 4 say Fazeh Duyen carrying bottled water into her home -- as so many in Newark have been doing over the past couple of months. She said can’t wait to get to city hall to sign up for the free lead line replacement.
"I had a knee replacement and I can’t move. Some days I can’t get out of my bed," Duyen said. "So I’m gonna go there because I don’t want to be carrying water all the time."
Gov. Phil Murphy, Baraka and Essex County officials announced last month the acceleration of a plan to permanently remedy the lead water crisis that has been impacting thousands of residents.
The long-term plan to fix lead levels in the water is to put $120 million towards replacing the lead pipes for thousands of households served by the Pequannockwater filtration plant, NJ.com first reported.
People have been receiving bottled water since the issue was discovered and the city has distributed tens of thousands of cases. Bottled water continues to be distributed as the new pipes are installed.