Bond deal to speed Newark's replacement of lead water lines

NEWARK, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A proposed $120 million bond deal would drastically cut the amount of time needed for Newark to replace lead service lines that are causing elevated lead levels in drinking water.

Officials announced the plan involving the Essex County Improvement Authority on Monday, along with Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy.

The city has about 18,000 lines that need replacement, which city officials had estimated that would take about 10 years. The county-backed bonds could reduce that to under30 months.

Nearly 800 lines have been replaced since March.

Newark passed out nearly 40,000 water filters beginning last year, but had to start passing out bottled water two weeks ago after a few homes using the filters had higher-than-expected lead levels.

Testing is ongoing to determine whether the filters are working properly.
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