Newark Water Crisis

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Problem

An environmental crisis has consumed Newark, New Jersey. Over the past year, at least 10% of nearly 300 water samples tested, showed lead contamination. The level of lead, found in water, must comply with the federal action level of 15 parts per billion. According to state records, the water samples showed the lead levels at 26.7 parts per billion; almost 100 percent greater than the federal action level.

water lead

Lead Astray:

Like any major crises, people look for one answer, who is to blame? City and state officials have been in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act for several reasons

  1. Failing to treat water - allowing lead to seep off the pipes and into the residents drinking water
  2. Notifying residents about the elevated levels of lead and the possible health risks

The Safe Drinking Water Act

Let's start from the beginning, what is the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)? Defined by the EPA, "the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the federal law that protects public drinking water supplies throughout the nation. Under the SDWA, EPA sets standards for drinking water quality and with its partners implements various technical and financial programs to ensure drinking water safety."

The Parallels of Flint and Newark

The similarities between Flint and Newark, are quite easy to see.

  1. Predominantly black communities
  2. High levels of poverty
  3. City officials denying a problem - even with data to support the claims

City officials have fought back, saying that '"NEWARK’S WATER IS ABSOLUTELY SAFE TO DRINK"'. However, after a recent engineering study was released stating that two Newark treatment plants were in violation of the SDWA, the city finally decided to act. While Flint is a more extreme case than Newark, the problem is still demanding attention. City officials proceeded to give away filters and bottled water, to it's residents. The next question, is this enough?

City Officials vs. The Residents

While officials have finally started to act, they have lost the trust and support of Newark community, leading many to wonder if they care about their health and safety.

Claire Wood, from the National Resources Defense Councel stated that '"although water coming from the treatment plant may not have lead in it, the water arriving in residents’ taps, coming out of residents’ faucets, has lead in it. So the claim that Newark’s water is pure or safe is misleading"'.

It is not just about misleading the residents, Wood also explained that the city refused to answer inquiries in regards to the water, and continued to say that the water was safe. Wood stated that '"the city has been slow to act and quick to provide evasive nonanswers, all while repeatedly assuring the public the water is safe to drink.'"

Tern to the Future:

Newark officials have denied their residents the one basic tool they need to go about their daily lives, and that is knowledge. Newark residents continued to consume lead, from their drinking water; thus increasing the risk of major health issues.

Health Concerns

Newark lead fountain

Overall, experts agree that there is no safe level of lead exposure.

Highest Risk: Pregnant women and children. Any level of exposure, even levels that seem particularly low, can cause irreversible damage to brain development, the nervous systems, fertility, the cardiovascular system, blood pressure and kidneys.

Health concerns, from lead, are not a new topic of conversation for children in Newark. The NRDC has been monitoring the lead levels closely, since 2016. According to their research, they found that Newark has the highest level, of children exposed to lead, in the state of New Jersey, and that roughly 30 public schools had elevated levels of lead.

Tern's Impact

One of the major problems, with the city officials in Newark, was that they did not provide the knowledge, the residents needed to have safe drinking water. Once they finally admitted there was a problem, entire communities had already been affected by the lead epidemic. A filter was no longer enough.

Tern was founded on one mission; empower people to obtain the best water possible, by providing them with the information and tools needed, to ensure they have sustainable and safe water, wherever and whenever they would like. 

The Smart Faucet is the world's first home water filter. It allows for you and your family to have safe and sustainable water all the time. For residents of Newark, the smart faucet can be added to their homes, with no hassle, and can help prevent and future risks that can occur with their drinking water.

Past Posts

  • Wildfires, Water and the West

    Monday, November 12, 2018

  • Plastic Bottles vs. The Smart Faucet

    Thursday, November 8, 2018

  • #Waterroundup for October 8th, 2018

    Thursday, November 8, 2018

  • #Waterroundup for October 31st, 2018

    Wednesday, October 31, 2018

  • Newark Water Crisis

    Wednesday, October 31, 2018

  • Drink Water to Help You Lose Weight

    Tuesday, September 18, 2018

  • Official Tern Water Press Release: 5% Healthy Water Initiative

    Monday, July 23, 2018

  • Water Main Breaks and Floods Center City Philadelphia

    Monday, July 23, 2018

  • Scott Mazo at Healthy Philly

    Friday, July 20, 2018

  • Philly Water Startup can help Elon Musk bring healthy Water to Flint

    Wednesday, July 11, 2018

  • #waterroundup for July 6, 2018

    Friday, July 6, 2018

  • The Product Development Cycle of the Smart Faucet: Test, Optimize, and Test Some More

    Friday, July 6, 2018

  • #waterroundup for June 29th, 2018

    Friday, June 29, 2018

  • Tern's Work for Healthy Water Never Stops

    Friday, June 29, 2018

  • Tern's Benchmarks for Water Quality

    Wednesday, June 27, 2018

  • Spotlight on Infrastructure: California

    Monday, June 25, 2018

  • #waterroundup for June 22nd, 2018

    Saturday, June 23, 2018

  • Tern Visits the Advanced Manufacturing Show in New York

    Friday, June 22, 2018

  • From our Friends at PiperWai: Activated Charcoal, What Is It and What Does It Do?

    Tuesday, June 19, 2018

  • Why I Believe in Water for Good Health

    Monday, June 18, 2018

  • #waterroundup for June 15th, 2018

    Friday, June 15, 2018

  • The Growing Smart Home Market

    Wednesday, June 13, 2018

  • Spotlight on Infrastructure: Miami

    Monday, June 11, 2018

  • #waterroundup for June 8th, 2018

    Friday, June 8, 2018

  • It Happened in Hinkley

    Wednesday, June 6, 2018

  • Know Your Contaminant: Chromium-6

    Monday, June 4, 2018

  • #waterroundup for June 1st, 2018

    Friday, June 1, 2018

  • What's the Deal with Raw Water?

    Wednesday, May 30, 2018

  • #waterroundup for May 25th, 2018

    Friday, May 25, 2018

  • Know Your Contaminant: Lead

    Thursday, May 24, 2018

  • On the EPA and the National Leadership Summit

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018

  • #waterroundup for May 18th, 2018

    Friday, May 18, 2018

  • Spotlight on Water Infrastructure: New York City

    Wednesday, May 16, 2018

  • The waterroundup for Friday, May 11

    Friday, May 11, 2018

  • The waterroundup for Friday, April 20

    Friday, April 20, 2018

  • How water data can help entire communities live healthier lives

    Thursday, April 5, 2018

  • A Conversation with the Water Department

    Wednesday, March 28, 2018

  • Health Benefits of Water, In Honor of World Water Day

    Wednesday, March 21, 2018

  • Healthy Water at the "Point of Use"

    Tuesday, March 13, 2018

  • How to Make Sure Water From Our Kitchen is Safe to Drink

    Thursday, March 8, 2018

  • Lack of Water Awareness is a Growing Problem, and We’re Fixing That

    Monday, February 26, 2018

  • Tern Water reply to statements made by the Philadelphia Water Department

    Wednesday, February 14, 2018

  • Cape Cod, You Can Now Test Your Water Quality!

    Thursday, December 7, 2017

  • PA, Get Your Water Turbidity Tested!

    Tuesday, November 21, 2017

  • Tern Launches Know Your Water

    Thursday, October 5, 2017

  • Alexandria’s Flood

    Tuesday, July 18, 2017

  • Tern Water Announces Partnership with Cross Properties.

    Tuesday, July 18, 2017

  • There’s Something in the Water: The Betrayal of a Municipal Water System

    Tuesday, July 18, 2017

  • Water for the Modern Age

    Tuesday, November 29, 2016

  • Background Information

    Friday, January 1, 2016

  • Tern Standards, Accuracy, and References

    Friday, January 1, 2016