NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Newark residents and advocates are waiting for a judge to decide whether the city will have to hand out bottled water to more communities.

Public school and environmental advocates are fighting for door-to-door bottle delivery in the eastern part of the city after it was discovered that some of the distributed water filters were not working. Those communities were left out of the city’s initial advisory after high lead levels were found in the drinking water.

East Side residents are not served by the water treatment plant that’s believed to be the source of contamination concerns.

Arguments were presented last week, but the judge didn’t reach a decision Friday.

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“Give the people the water, the bottled water,” homeowner Brenda Toyloy said last week.

The lawsuit requests a court order to supply the bottled water to pregnant women and families with children who are six years old or younger.

City officials say the undertaking would be too expensive and could impact plans in place to address the problem.

“We have Band-Aids, and the Band-Aid right now is bottled water,” said New Caucus plaintiff Yvette Jordan.

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Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency required Newark to supply bottled water to residents with lead pipes. However, the federal agency did not specify a section of the city.

Advocates hope the judge considers that fact.

Meanwhile, the long term solution requires changing the lead pipes. The city began that effort in March, but when it comes to private property, homeowners are being asked to foot part of the bill, which could cost thousands of dollars.

While all sides wait for a judgement, the EPA plans to send even more experts to the area this week. They are continuing to sample the water to see it efforts to address the most immediate contamination concerns are working.

Where To Get Help

Families in the Pequannock service area with lead service lines who have received filters can pick up water at the following locations:

  • The City of Newark Department of Health and Wellness, 110 William St.
  • Bo Porter Sports Complex, 378 Lyons Ave.
  • Boylan Street Recreation Center, 916 South Orange Ave.
  • Vince Lombardi Center, 201 Bloomfield Ave.

For more information, including frequently asked questions, click here.


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