City of Newark begins Bottled Water Distribution and Water Advisory
COMMUNITY UPDATES: Aug 20 2019:
We sent the following appeal to our community of clients and partners, and as of today we have 9 RO Systems that we will be installing for in-need families in the effected area. We want to THANK YOU so very much for your support.
CALLING ON OUR PUR2o community. We please ask two things of you during this crisis right in our neighborhoods.
Firstly; spread the word to anyone you know who is in the affected areas with elevated Lead Levels that we have options and are offering to support them with water systems that can eliminate their Elevated Lead Levels with special payment options and discounts for those on the Lead Lines.
Secondly, many of those affected by the Lead Crisis are low income families, we have the opportunity to make a difference but need your help. Should you have the means to adopt-a-family with us and help donate a basic RO water system to a Newark family, please call us to find out more details and we will work with you to get clean water to them as soon as we can.
If you are of know of a family in need who may qualify for a donated system, please click here for a short survey application form.
Original Blog Post 8/13/19
For those of you in touch with the ins and outs of water quality across the United states, this new advisory from Newark shouldn’t be a surprise… but wait…. Don’t be so quick to think you know all the details. It can shock even the most knowledgeable water guru’s (like us!)
Our question today (the massive ELEPHANT in the room) is how did officials not test, check and confirm that certain emergency filters distributed to trusting Newark residents were, in actual fact, doing what they were supposed to?
To discuss this topic properly, let’s rewind a little. First let’s talk about the main concern in the water supply. Lead.
Lead is dangerous. When you take your kids to the pediatrician for an annual checkup, it is common for them to have their lead levels checked though a blood test. Lead (even the smallest amounts) has been linked to serious brain damage in children, as their brains are still developing. Experts also note this brain damage is irreversible. It also effects unborn fetal development and is dangerous to pregnant women as well. In adults, it has been linked to heart, kidney and reproductive problems as well as cognitive issues and other medical issues.
The EPA (environmental protection agency), set a guideline of 15 ppb (parts per billion) for Lead levels in water.
In 2015, testing conducting in Newark showed lead levels of 27 ppb (parts per billion) in some residential homes.
According to a lawsuit filed by the NEWC and NRDC against the City of Newark, in 2016, 30 public schools in Newark showed dangerous and elevated Lead levels in their water supply provided directly by the city, including water fountains and water coolers. Although the residents of Newark were assured that this was not a widespread issue, it was found to be an issue with all areas of drinking water. In 2017, more than 10% of drinking water samples exceeded 26.7 ppb of Lead.
In 2018, samples continued to show elevated lead levels, over the EPA’s guidelines, with one sample reading 182 ppb of Lead.
In late 2018, Newark distributed free water filters to residents in the approximate 15-thousand homes most at-risk of lead contamination. This decision was made to try to combat the elevated and dangerous lead levels. The filters given were “donated” by PUR, and the largest majority of them were simple filters than attach to the end of faucet and filter the water passing through it. The company claims it is certified to remove 99% of Lead and reduce over 70 other contaminants found in tap water.
Fast forward to August 2019, our news cycles and reporters are all scrambling to Newark to work out what is going on.
The city announced that the PUR water faucets that were distributed “may not have been reliably effective” according to Mayor Ras Baraka, and that lead levels on mandatory sampling of tap water has not decreased below acceptable guidelines. The result is that residents are being advised to go and pick up bottled water for drinking, which for many is almost impossible. Those with heart conditions, heath problems, the disabled and the elderly are unable to carry the heavy crates, and those in apartments and with stairs are also struggling to get the water to their homes.
Please see a list of pick up locations for this week at the bottom of this blog.
Many are comparing what’s now happening in Newark to the Flint Water Crisis. The Mayor of Newark Ras Baraka in an interview in the Washington Post is quoted … “I understand people’s frustration,” …. adding that he also has a lead line at his home, and that he and his pregnant wife have been using one of the tens of thousands of water filters the city began distributing in the fall.
In Newark, New Jersey, the City Water supply is supposed to provide around 80 million gallons a day of safe water to around 300,000 customers, and since the city realized there was an issue in 2015, everyone has been aware of this major issue of dangerous Lead levels in the water supply. So AT LEAST since 2015, residents may have been either drinking CONTAMINATED WATER, or they have been having to buy water… most likely in plastic bottles (but that is another conversation) … and FOUR YEARS LATER the temporary solution they had has failed, and they are now resorting to handing out free bottled water.
For a family of 4, needing to purchase bottled water for drinking, washing food and cooking, teeth brushing, as well as washing hands and other basics, could cost upwards of $33.25 per day based on 50 bottles per person. That is, at a low end, $12,136.25 per year. Whether it costs the family, or the city this amount of money, that still that doesn’t take into account the time and energy spent in staffing for and residents going to the distribution centers EVERY DAY instead. Picking it up, carrying it, and getting it into your home. And don’t even get me started on the recycling issues, as well as the lack of water for things like showering and doing laundry. Your skin is your biggest organ...and we absorb contaminants in the shower, it is not just about what we drink.
In Flint, in 2016, when the city first started providing bottled water to residents, it was distributing 15-thousand cases of water per day. That’s 360-THOUSAND bottles of water, estimating around 200 bottles per person per day for all their needs!
See this article profiling a Flint family of 3, who averaged 151 bottles per day but didn’t shower or do any laundry at home, instead they traveled to somewhere safe that they could use these amenities.
Ugh. Just writing and researching this makes me so very upset. I don’t think these typed words on the page can quite describe the noise my fingers are making as I am angrily typing each of the above facts, or the thoughts in my head when reading cited articles and items such as the lawsuit.
Nor do any of the UPPERCASE or Bold “shouting” words really describe how mad and angry I feel about the lack of responsibility the City or others have had for this crisis. In the years of the Flint water crisis all we keep hearing about are the health repercussions residents have experienced, especially children. We are in the business of clean, safe and healthy water, but we feel our hands are tied. Of course, PUR2o is a for-profit business, but it is not just a regular business, it is owned by two compassionate human beings, who are just like those struggling with the water crisis.
They are New Jersey residents, parents and water utility customers, and as a company they don’t have the means to knock on 15-thousand doors and offer free water systems that WILL work, but I wish that I could win the lottery today so that I could wake up tomorrow and do exactly that.
The most we can do for you is this. We are offering all families a special under the sink water filtration system that provides CLEAN, SAFE Reverse Osmosis water, free of contaminants. The system usually costs over $900, but we will offer it for $450 to those in the affected neighborhoods in New Jersey.
Included in this price we will come and INSTALL IT FOR YOU. We will not leave you struggling by yourself. The maintenance on our systems is ONCE per year. So additionally, we will offer discounted filter changes annually for your homes so that you are able to relax and ensure your water supply is safe. We will also test your water at the beginning and at the end of every visit so you are sure that you are getting the filtration, purification and most importantly LEAD FREE water you need. You can buy various systems online, for the same price or maybe less, but in the uncertain world you are living in right now, you never have the guarantee that these things are doing what they need to. The City of Newark is the biggest example of this lesson right now.
To put it bluntly, you are relying on trust, as were THOSE with the faucet filters. We are a local, family run small business that will be there by your side to test your water, help you install and troubleshoot at any time. We will become your teammates in this crisis you are going through. We want to support our neighbors, as profits don’t mean anything when we are dealing with the potential detrimental effects on you and your family’s health.
Should we have enough demand, we will be open to training local Newark residents who may be unemployed to help us spread the word and install the systems for their neighbors. We are not in a position to offer things for free, but we will do our best as a company to stand by our community and help those who we can, so that our children, our pregnant women, our elderly, and everyone else can all get through this with minimal health concerns and being able to sleep at night and know their family is safe.
It may not be much, but it is something, and at least that beats us sitting by and doing nothing.
Help us and get involved. Contact us now.
UPDATED: Current information from Newark Sewer and Water Utilities website Tuesday Aug 20th.
BOTTLED WATER PICK UP LOCATIONS
Newark Department of Health and Wellness at 110 William St. will remain open from 8:30 - 4:00 p.m.
Bo Porter Sports Complex at 378 Lyons Ave. will open from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Boylan Street Recreation Center at 916 South Orange Ave. will open from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Vince Lombardi Center at 201 Bloomfield Ave. will open from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.