New Jersey Governor: state is handling Newark’s water contamination problem

The lead water contamination in Newark, New Jersey dominated tonight’s one-hour Ask Governor Murphy program. The live show hosted by Nancy Solomon is co-produced by WNYC, WGBO and WHYY.

Newark is not only the state’s largest city but it’s also one of the nation’s oldest cities. Over time the lead pipes used to get clean drinking water to homes have begun to leach lead. Last year the city began handing out water filters to thousands of homes but test results from two homes shows the filters failed to do their job. As a result bottle water is now being issued to residents in what New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said is done out of “an abundance of caution.”

The governor was asked by a caller about what is being done to make the water safer. Murphy says in addition to the bottled water, something he called a short-term solution, a plan is worked on to eventually replace all of the outdated lead pipes. But that is a process that could take years. Murphy says another tactic is being injecting the pipes with a solution that creates and lining inside the pipe to prevent lead from seeping into the water.

Governor Murphy said Newark is not alone with in dealing with aging lead pipes. He said many other New Jersey towns could face similar issues.

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