The Latest: NJ governor, Newark mayor vow to provide water

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on Newark elevated lead levels (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

The governor of New jersey and the mayor of Newark have vowed to provide bottled water to city residents with lead service lines after tests indicate filters may not be protecting them against elevated lead levels.

Gov. Phil Murphy and Mayor Ras Baraka said, however, in a statement Sunday evening that the city and state “will need support and assistance from the federal government” to provide and distribute water to affected residents. And they said long-term water distribution could affect the city’s corrosion control treatment launched in May, since for the system to work properly residents must keep city water flowing through their pipes.

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The statement came after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said recent tests had shown that drinking water in a few locations was still testing high for lead despite filters.

An EPA letter to Newark officials says bottled water should be provided “as soon as possible.” The city is expanding tests of filtered drinking water to more Newark homes.

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This entry has been corrected to show that the statement says long-term water distribution could affect corrosion control treatment, not that it will affect corrosion control treatment.

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1:20 p.m.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says Newark should provide bottled water to residents with lead service lines after tests indicate filters may not be protecting them against elevated lead levels.

EPA officials say recent tests show drinking water in a few locations was still testing high for lead despite filters, so “out of an abundance of caution” residents should use bottled water for drinking and cooking.

An EPA letter to Newark officials says bottled water should be provided “as soon as possible” and asked to be notified of city plans by the end of business Monday.

NJ.com reports that Mayor Ras Baraka told NJ Advance Media on Sunday that the city will offer bottled water to affected residents but officials are still ironing out details with the state.

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