Newark parents speak out on water crisis

Parents often have plenty of concerns as a new school year begins, but for those in Newark, the ongoing lead water crisis is just one more worry. 

However, officials say that parents should not be concerned about their children’s health, because water in the school system is safe.

“The filters we put in were attached to our drinking sources, they have a capacity of 3000 gallons, when they reach that capacity they then shut off the device. So children and staff will come to the device, and they will be unable to get water,” said Valerie Wilson, Business Administrator for Newark Public Schools.

The city of Newark has 67 public schools, and the school system selects schools at random to test the water from drinking sources like fountains to ensure lead levels are within the federally acceptable range.

State law requires schools to test every six years. Newark tests each month.

The Pequannock Water Treatment Plant, which contributed to the current crisis when corrosion control efforts failed, supplies water to Newark Schools. According to Wilson, 21 of their schools have lead service lines and those lines are even more closely monitored. Parents will be able to see the most recent test results of their child’s school online at the school system website.