Lead in Drinking Water
Lead has been in the news in the last six months, nationally and in New Jersey. It is a toxic substance that causes neurological damage, especially to young children. Lead in drinking water is one source of exposure. As indicated by recent drinking water test results from some schools in New Jersey and nationwide such as the widely-publicized crisis in Flint, some drinking water taps are testing high in lead.
To explain why this is happening and to put it in a broader context that considers other water infrastructure needs, the Jersey Water Works Steering Committee has issued a statement. Jersey Water Works has also developed this library of resources to help educate our constituents on lead in drinking water, including its effects and best-practice solutions for communities, utilities and residents.
The resources are organized into these sections:
- General Information on Lead in Drinking Water
- Government and Utility Actions
- Steps Residents and Parents Can Take
- Recent Articles
Putting children first: Tackling lead in water in child care facilities
Addressing lead in water in child care facilities presents a significant opportunity to reduce lead exposure for many vulnerable children in a single location, with reasonable effort. To succeed in testing and remediating lead in water, child care facility operators, state licensing agencies, and health departments will need support from EPA, water utilities, and NSF International, as well as the families they serve.
This report, Putting children first: Tackling lead in water in child care facilities, provides recommendations for each of these critical audiences.
New Jersey Lead Poisoning Prevention Action Plan
The analysis and recommendations contained in the 2018 New Jersey Lead Poisoning Prevention Action Plan provide a comprehensive framework for action steps that can be undertaken by the state, local agencies and other prevention partners to fully eliminate childhood lead poisoning within ten years in New Jersey.
These strategies focus on the causal sources of environmental lead exposure, support improvements to services to mitigate the impact of lead exposure in at-risk communities, including communities of color, and suggest investment in targeted, data-driven primary prevention efforts. Key policy reforms and investment in infrastructure would increase the safety of the environment, and risk-based prevention activities would prevent lead poisoning for New Jersey’s most vulnerable children.
U.S. GAO Recommendations to Enhance EPA’s Oversight of Lead Rule
GAO makes three recommendations, as part of its report, Additional Data and Statistical Analysis May Enhance EPA’s Oversight of the Lead and Copper Rule, including for EPA to require states to report data on lead pipes and develop a statistical analysis on the likelihood of LCR violations to supplement its current oversight. EPA agreed with GAO’s recommendations.
Lead in School Drinking Water in New Jersey
New Jersey Future released this preliminary analysis of test results reported to and collected by the New Jersey Department of Education in order to help quantify the extent of the problem and recommend actions to ensure schools and communities are being provided all the support they need to remediate the situation.
Flyer for School Children
The Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority sent this one-page flyer to all 11,000 Camden City school children and school staff, along with refrigerator magnets and the NJ Dept. of Health fact sheet, “Drinking Water: Lead”. For more information or replicable artwork for the magnet, contact CCMUA Director Scott Schreiber at (856) 541-5200.