Elevated lead levels found in some tests of Newark water supply

Anthony Davis of the Newark Water Coalition describes how the city is being impacted by the contaminated water.
5:48 | 08/12/19

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Transcript for Elevated lead levels found in some tests of Newark water supply
You want to bring it back to the United States where we had yet another water crisis on our hands in an American city this time it's happening in Newark, New Jersey where just within. The past hour or so the city actually started handing out bottles of water because there's contamination of lead in the drinking water so we wanted to. Go out to Newark, New Jersey we have many Anthony Diaz who was Van Nuys and a member of the new work water coalition anti we appreciate you joining us here. The latest development is that who there was reports of lead in the water we know of the city handed out water filters. And then the latest tested tested three house is two of the three even with the water filters. Had too much lead that was above the threshold so why don't you just take us through what it has been like for you living in New York Rangers. So go the things as early interesting is that. What they'll work on the were coalitions we've been saying this. You know since this whole crisis has started that this issue is is big it affects the entire city. You really you know the administration needs to do more than what it's doing and a lot of the push back that we've been getting is that. Kate you guys are making this a bigger deal than her actual years. And we kind of field of validated an alliance that hey you know we were right all along. And now less time that just really get to work what we really care about a solutions. Trying to figure out how we can best help the people of north that's all we really care about. Okay in what do you think the solution is at this point. We'll right now since the federal government isn't both. We need you know more resource says we need more manpower weenie you know comprehensive look at our infrastructure. And we just need all the led lines replaced. We don't need to replace eight years from now we need to replace S of yesterday and I think now that you know people are are really understanding that this is a crisis. In understanding K you know we have to use bottled water I think that it's gonna be all hands on deck. In a you have set. It's not our contingent in Munich at the ago god condemns. Those are presidential election you have you know Menendez you have these big way. All politicians and I think now it's kinda like hold their feet and aspirants a lesson. You needs of flood but I'll bring all the resources of Washington sent into the state of New Jersey and more specifically into the city of more. That's Anthony dias with the newer water coalition Anthony think you make a very interesting point in that this did not happen overnight this is something that has been building and we've seen a little bit of pushed back leading up to this point up until now where it does seem that the government is embracing that this is in fact a water crisis and we have a statement. A joint statement from the governor of New Jersey and also the mayor of New York if we can pull that up but they say is the city of new work is currently expanding testing it filtered drinking water to more Newark homes. And in coordination with the department of environmental protection. In its actively working with the filter manufacturer to determine the scope of the situation and to identify the required corrective action. As soon as possible so according to the govern the mayor that now working on fixing. What is this ongoing crisis Anthony we do appreciate your time I want to put this in a broader context this Stephanie enter environmental reporter here. We already had what happened in Flint, Michigan Stephanie it. It feels like for a first world country. Having drinking water that's not dangerous is pretty baseline why does this keep. What I had it ties into you know. Why are we always talking about infrastructure week in Washington how everyone wants to joke Alex infrastructure we began this is actually one of the biggest issues. You know. One could argue strengthening our country and one of the legacies of Flint really is forcing everyone to kind of grapple with that issue again. You know interest water infrastructure especially. I you know the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that we need to spend 400 and semi two billion dollars that's billion of the east over the next twenty years to upgrade its infrastructure in order to keep our water safe. And that means that we have probably neglected it for a long time and failing to update at yet. Yeah I mean you think when you when you hear failing infrastructure in the United States angle do you natural instinct does think. Our roads have potholes so where are burritos are a little cheeky this is a direct. Problem that could impact. Thousands millions of people and is that. Adding right now. Absolutely there is Jena six million lead service lines in the United States and that's only what we know about that's connecting. Your your water system to your home that doesn't account for it led plumbing inside it. Of of older homes right you know you rely on the water out of your faucet every day you don't think about how it gets there. Even though the country has known about the danger of being exposed to lead for decades now I think there's kind of a reckoning now that that may be. We got a little bit complacent about keeping up with back to protecting it and now kind of having to grapple with. What happens when you wait too long these you kind of wonder we had Flint now it's Newark what's going to be the next city that meant they figured the throughout hundreds of millions of dollars. Are we looking as at current policy or we're gonna get anywhere close to that. So that EPA is actually nearing the finish line on a new lead and copper along mrs. rule that would have. Have very significant impact for cities across the country it could mandate that let service finds be replaced. They could you know they could change the wet that the rules that haven't been updated in some time about how we Gillick is systems which. You know that I that the public health benefit could be huge for these cities. Also they're gonna have to grapple with -- their enormous cost to city is and to private homeowners do. Relic that structure problem yeah I think that we're seeing now in all of these cities you can't keep kicking the can. On the solutions are necessary are that Stephanie other environmental reporter really appreciate your time.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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