New law signed by Phil Murphy lets you know if there’s lead in your water, but doesn’t fix the problem

Glass at water tap and filling water with lead contamination

TRENTON, NJ – A bill signed into law by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy will now force water companies to let their customers know when there are elevated levels of lead in their water, but doesn’t attempt to fix the problem of lead being in their drinking water.

The problem of lead in water became a hot topic for former Newark mayor Cory Booker whose residents had to drink bottled water after lead levels went through the roof in the city’s water supply.

Today’s bill signing will require public water systems to provide notice of elevated lead levels in drinking water to customers and local officials and require landlords to notify tenants of elevated lead levels.

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“We must continue to take proactive action to protect our communities from the dangers of lead exposure,” said Governor Murphy. “This legislation will ensure that community members are aware of the levels of lead in their drinking water, a critical step toward protecting our children and families from the dangers of lead exposure.”

“We applaud this important legislation, which complements our efforts at DCA to reduce the threat of lead poisoning in homes across the state,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. “We look forward to working with landlords to ensure tenants receive critical information about the quality of the drinking water that they and their loved ones consume.”

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Worse, tenants and customers can go 10 days before they are notified of elevated lead levels.

This bill requires that written notice of elevated lead levels in drinking water be provided to all customers no later than ten days after it is determined that lead levels are above the lead action level. That notice must also include details of the lead action level, provide information on the health effects of lead in drinking water, and provide information about steps a customer can take to reduce risk. Landlords will be required to deliver this notice to all tenants served by the water system within three days of receiving the notice from the public water system. The legislation supplements the Safe Drinking Water Act.

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