In Echo of Flint, Lead Water Crisis Now Hits Newark, New Jersey

Photo: Shana Gilbert and her daughter, Malaysa Ingram, received water filters at Paradise Baptist Church in Newark this month. The filters were distributed free because of elevated lead levels in the city’s water. Credit: Sarah Blesener for The New York Times

NEWARK — For nearly a year and a half, top officials in Newark denied that their water system had a widespread lead problem, despite ample evidence that the city was facing a public health crisis that had echoes of the one in Flint, Mich.

Even as the risk persisted in the spring, the officials in Newark, New Jersey’s most populous city, took few precautionary measures, instead declaring on their website that, “NEWARK’S WATER IS ABSOLUTELY SAFE TO DRINK.”

But this month, facing results from a new study, the officials abruptly changed course, beginning an urgent giveaway of 40,000 water filters across the city of 285,000 people, targeting tens of thousands of residences.

The revelation that Newark is facing a potentially widening public health crisis over tap water has angered many residents and raised questions about whether the city’s negligence has placed young children at risk.

Officials were finally compelled to act after an engineering study commissioned by the city found that measures to prevent lead from leaching into drinking water were failing at one of Newark’s two treatment plants.

State officials are warning that children under 6 in homes with lead pipes served by the plant should not drink […]

More about the water in New Jersey:

Toxic legacy: Wash U researchers look for ways to keep lead out of drinking water

Environmental Groups Sue Newark Over Lead in Drinking Water

New Jersey seeks stricter limit on chemicals, PFCs in drinking water

New Jersey Sets First Binding State Limits for Perfluorinated Chemicals in Drinking Water

Map of New York seascape reveals a wildlife treasure trove

In Echo of Flint, Water Crisis Now Hits Newark, New Jersey
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In Echo of Flint, Water Crisis Now Hits Newark, New Jersey
Officials in Newark, NJ, denied the water system had a lead problem, despite ample evidence. Now they face a public health crisis echoing the one in Flint.
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The New York Times
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