Arsenic discovered in tap water of Lower East Side NYCHA complex

Residents of a public housing complex on Manhattan's Lower East Side are being given cases of bottled water after dangerous levels of arsenic were found in the building's tap water.

People living at the Jacob Riis Houses have been told not to drink or cook with water from their taps as further testing is underway, with results expected Monday.

City officials have confirmed that traces of arsenic were found in some water samples taken weeks ago. Residents had been reporting that their tap water looked cloudy.

Mayor Eric Adams stopped by the complex on Sunday to help distribute water after the discovery.

"New results yesterday from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection did not detect arsenic from the water source entering the building," the Mayor's Office said in a statement. "However, we are advising Riis Houses residents not to drink or cook with the water in their buildings. Additional samples were collected in apartments, roof tanks, and other locations today, and we are pushing to get results as soon as possible."

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams visited the houses to speak with tenants about the water problems Sunday morning. His office had previously unveiled a report titled "How the Other Half Lives in Public Housing" that condemned unsafe living conditions in New York City's public housing.

"It's indicative, really, of how bad the conditions are and the problems that we have that are not just funding, but management-related," Williams said. "NYCHA knew about that report of arsenic while we were standing here, doing this report and didn't alert anyone."