About the Program

Newark's Water Supply

The City of Newark supplies water to a population of approximately 280,000 within the City, the largest city in the state of New Jersey. Located in the center of New Jersey’s Gateway Region, the City has been a major regional commerce and transportation hub since the 19th century. The City’s population is supplied potable water through a large, complex system owned and operated by the City. The system provides approximately 80 million gallons per day (mgd) of water to a population of over 300,000 customers within the City and its surrounding communities including several commercial and wholesale customers.

The system is managed by the City of Newark’s Department of Water and Sewer Utilities (Department) who is responsible for managing a very precious water resource and providing customers with a reliable and safe supply of potable water. To accomplish this, the Department is tasked with meeting or exceeding current Federal and State regulations and consumer expectations.

Lead Service Lines

It is estimated that, of the approximate 36,000 residential water service accounts in the City’s distribution system, there are approximately 15,000 full or partial lead service lines in the system. The City is somewhat unique in that the entire portion of each service line is owned by the customer/property owner. The City recently exceeded the federal “Action Level” for lead at the 90th percentile of a sample pool of 233 customers.  On July 11, 2017, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) sent a letter to the City that outlined a series of actions in response to the Lead Action Level exceedance. The letter required the City to replace, or offer to replace, a minimum of 7% of their residential lead service lines (LSLs) within one year of the exceedance. 

In response to NJDEP, the City is seeking both immediate and long-term measures to minimize lead levels throughout the system.  Specifically, the City, a) has developed a program to offer to replace all known lead service lines in the City; and b) is looking to optimize corrosion control treatment.  This project focuses on the replacement of the LSLs for residential customers. 

Newark's Lead Service Line Replacement Program

The Lead Service Line Replacement Program is an aggressive, multi-year program, commencing in the year 2018 to offer to replace all remaining known Lead Service Lines (LSLs) in the City within a period of eight (8) years. The first phase of this program will replace approximately 1,500 LSLs spread throughout the City’s water distribution system during the first year of the program’s implementation. The City is committed to protecting public health and continuing to provide safe drinking water to all of its customers, and this aggressive Lead Service Line Replacement Program demonstrates that commitment.

 

Check Your Line

To find out if you have a copper, lead or galvanized steel service on your property, you (or your landlord) can perform a Materials Verification Test on the water service line where it connects to the water meter to determine the material of the water service line on your property.

Please follow the steps below, and then send the results of the test along with your address to info@newarkleadserviceline.com. The City of Newark will include your results in their water service line inventory records.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • A house key or coin
  • A strong refrigerator magnet

STEPS TO CHECK YOUR SERVICE LINE

  1. Find the water meter on your property. 
  2. Look for the pipe that comes through the outside wall of your home and connects to your meter.
  3. Use a key or coin to gently scratch the pipe (like you would scratch a lottery ticket). If the pipe is painted, use sandpaper to expose the metal first.
  4. Place the magnet on the pipe to see if it sticks to the pipe.
  5. Determine your pipe material and send your results and address to info@newarkleadserviceline.com 

YOUR TEST RESULTS

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If your pipe is copper:
The pipe may appear dull brown on the outside but will be the color of a bright penny if gently scratched. A magnet WILL NOT stick to a copper pipe.

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If your pipe is lead:
The pipe will appear dull and soft but will turn a shiny silver color when scratched.  A magnet WILL NOT stick to a lead pipe. 

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If your pipe is galvanized steel:
The scratched area will remain a dull gray, and a magnet WILL stick to the surface.
If you have a galvanized steel pipe, you may still have a lead gooseneck on your service line.

 

Please send results of your test and your address to info@newarkleadserviceline.com
 

OTHER WAYS YOU CAN CHECK FOR LEAD

For more information on identifying a lead service line, including NPR’s interactive tool for lead pipe identification, visit www.lslr-collaborative.org/identifying-service-line-material.html

Lead test kits to test the pipe can be purchased at your local hardware store. Look for an EPA recognized kit. You can purchase an EPA-approved lead test kit at www.epa.gov/lead/lead-test-kits or www.amazon.com/dp/b008bk15pu

For questions about lead in water or testing your water service line, contact the Lead Service Line Replacement Team at (973) 733-6303 or email waterandsewer@ci.newark.nj.us

If you have any questions, please contact us

 

Helpful Resources

 
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Basic Information about Lead in Drinking Water

From the Environmental Protection Agency

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Lead - Prevention Tips

From the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

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Childhood Lead

From the New Jersey Department of Health

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Lead in Water and Full Lead Service Line Replacement

From the Lead Service Line Replacement Collaborative

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Drinking Water Facts - Lead

From the New Jersey Department of Health