In 2016, while testing water in schools, the City of Newark, NJ, began to notice lead exceedances. The following year when performing water testing in homes across the city, they began to find lead exceedances within residences as well.
After listening to the public and the press express their frustrations regarding the limited progress addressing the lead problem, city officials launched an aggressive and coordinated Lead Service Line Replacement Program (LSLR) in 2018.
Although they were ready to tackle the lead issue in their city, Newark faced significant challenges as the city has a large, mostly tri-lingual population and a high percentage of renters. Furthermore, difficulty identifying property owners and the substantial cost burden it would have placed on property owners to undertake the replacement themselves made it problematic to replace private lead lines at scale.