Working for Smart Growth:
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Lead in Drinking Water: A Permanent Solution for New Jersey

Every person in New Jersey deserves a safe, healthy environment that nurtures their full potential. Lead exposure thwarts this basic goal. Across New Jersey, lead in drinking water threatens human health, especially for children.

To address the risk from lead in water, Jersey Water Works, with support from The Fund for New Jersey, convened a 30-member task force of representatives from local, state, and federal governments; water utilities; academia; environmental, smart growth and community advocates and public health organizations. Beginning in December 2018, the task force worked to determine practical, cost-effective, equitable, and permanent solutions that will ensure people across the state can access drinking water free from the risks of lead.

JWW Lead Report cover showing child turning faucet onThe task force’s work culminated in the release of Lead in Drinking Water: A Permanent Solution for New JerseyThis report outlines actions New Jersey can take to virtually eliminate lead in drinking water in 10 years.

The recommendations include:

  • A coordinated state-level campaign to address lead from all sources: water, paint, and soil.
  • A package of legislation that would simultaneously require and empower water utilities to replace dangerous lead pipes regardless of ownership.
  • The important state agency regulations, outreach programs, and transparency measures to ensure safe drinking water in homes.
  • Special actions to address lead in water in schools and child care facilities.

These actions should be complemented by other efforts to address lead exposure and improve water infrastructure systems.

With a grant from The Fund for New Jersey, staff support was provided by New Jersey Future.

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