Water Worries

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

There’s a major problem with tap water in Newark, New Jersey. Tests show it contains toxic levels of lead. The lead got into the water from a network of old and 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,” Donna Jackson, a Newark resident, told a news station. Protesters have demanded that the problem be fixed. City and state officials say they’re working to do so. “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 impacted by toxic water. The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, began in 2014. It is ongoing.