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Newark hit by lead-tainted water crisis

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 14, 2019 - Duration: 02:05s

Newark hit by lead-tainted water crisis

Residents in Newark, New Jersey continue to face a water crisis after high levels of lead were found in their drinking water.

Officials on Wednesday said that some of the water filters that were given out to residents may not be working.

Colette Luke has more.

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Newark hit by lead-tainted water crisis

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NO USE MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN MEDIA MARKET WEBSITES**~ The water crisis in Newark, New Jersey is gaining momentum as an issue in the state... High lead levels were discovered... and officials are now having to tell the public what they're doing about it.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka says the problem is in the pipes: (SOUNDBITE) NEWARK MAYOR RAS BARAKA SAYING: "It looks like it happened just yesterday, but we've been dealing with this for a year/the reality is the water in the reservoir does not have lead in it, when the water leaves the reservoir and goes to our pipes and gets in the pipes into people's homes, lead leaches from the pipes and gets into people's water.." Baraka says the water is being treated and nearly 38,000 water filters have been handed out to residents.

BUT some of those filters, the mayor says, may not be doing the job… (SOUNDBITE) NEWARK MAYOR RAS BARAKA SAYING: "With the help of the EPA, we tested four water filters in three homes, two of those water filters came back where the lead was not reduced to a level that we were comfortable with /we absolutely do not have enough information one way or another to determine whether the filters are working on not…" So now, they city is handing out bottled water.

(SOUNDBITE) RESIDENT CHARLESZINE GOETHE SAYING: "I'm very concerned about the water situation.." Newark residents say they are frustrated.

(SOUNDBITE) RESIDENT QUADYRRAH ADAMS SAYING: "I have a granddaughter she's 5..

I'm worried about her and I'm thinking about taking her to get lead levels checked… Officials say the lead levels are not as high as they were in Flint Michigan back in 2014..

But residents want the problem resolved.

(SOUNDBITE) QUADYRRAH ADAMS one minute it seems like it's getting better and now you can't even cook with it..

I really think they need to handle the situation..

Officials are calling on the federal government to step in… Senator Cory Booker, a Democratic presidential candidate and the former mayor of Newark tweeted on Wednesday: "Newark's water emergency demands our federal government's immediate attention.

Everyone deserves clean, safe water-it's shameful that our national crisis of lead-contaminated water disproportionately hits poor black and brown communities like my own."

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