NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – City and state officials announced Monday that residents should use water filter Newark has provided, despite previous concerns they weren’t effective in reducing lead in water.
Crews are working on Keer Avenue and more to replace lead pipes with copper ones.
Watch: Gov. Phil Murphy, Mayor Ras Baraka On Testing Of Water Filters
“We didn’t want another Flint, Michigan here,” said resident Ron Wise. He and his wife Avia have there for more than 40 years. “We’re very pleased that they have responded in a way that makes a lot of sense to resolve the issue.”
There are 18,000 lines that need to be replaced. So far, they’ve done more than 900. It’ll take 2-3 years to replace them all.
“We feared the worst and yet the ultimate test has shown us that the filters are functioning and they’re functioning reliably,” said DEP Commissioner Catherin McCabe.
Preliminary results were released Monday on the filters’ effectiveness. It showed the filters were 97% effective, and it increased to 99 percent effective when the water was flushed for five minutes first.
“Approximately 1,700 hundred samples were taken from over 300 homes,” said Gov. Phil Murphy.
Despite this, not all Newark residents have confidence in the filters.
“Absolutely not. I don’t,” said resident Wendy Hughes.
Mayor Ras Baraka says he’s not just telling, he’s doing.
“I drink it now,” Baraka said.
Officials say to increase effectiveness, flush the tap first, replace cartridges and don’t use hot water through the filter.
The DEP is also committing $1 million create a community assistance program to distribute filters and educate the public. They’re looking for volunteers.
The city is still giving out bottled water, and there will be a town hall meeting Oct. 2.
The final report is due in a few weeks.