HEALTH

Newark to sample water in 225 homes to test whether lead filters are working

BY Julie Daurio, Associate Producer |

The state Department of Environmental protection has begun additional testing of Newark tap water to test whether filters meant to remove high levels of lead are working.

This comes after two out of three filtered water tests came back with elevated lead levels earlier this month, prompting the EPA to require Newark to distribute bottled water.

According to a statement issued Friday by the state DEP, water in 225 homes throughout the city will be tested over the next few weeks, with a priority on homes that have registered lead levels above 50 parts per billion — more than three times the action limit set by the federal government.

Representatives from the city, along with the state DEP and federal EPA, will go door-to-door to scheduled samplings.

Six samples will be taken from each home — three of filtered water and three of unfiltered water.

The city will continue to distribute water to residents with lead service lines in the Pequannock service area while samples are being analyzed.

The DEP is urging residents not to throw out their faucet or pitcher filters and says the filters are removing lead; additional testing is being done to determine how reliably the filters are consistently reducing lead levels below the federal action limit of 15 parts per billion.

Meanwhile, starting on Saturday, University Hospital Newark will be providing lead screenings at no cost to residents who have proof they live in neighborhoods serviced by the Pequannock Water treatment facility.