Water Worries

September 13, 2019
CALL FOR ACTION Protesters in Newark demand clean water.
KARLA ANN COTE—NURPHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

There’s a big problem with tap water in Newark, New Jersey. It contains toxic levels of lead. The lead got into the water from the city’s old, worn-down pipes. It could take more than two years and $120 million to replace the city’s pipes. In mid-August, Newark began providing bottled water to 15,000 homes.

“This is a slap in the face to the residents of the city of Newark,” Donna Jackson told a local news station. She lives in Newark. Protesters have demanded that the problem be fixed. City and state officials say they’re working on it. “Access to clean and safe drinking water is a fundamental right,” New Jersey governor Phil Murphy said on August 14.

This isn’t the first time a U.S. city has been affected by toxic water. The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, began in 2014. It is ongoing.