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Town To Residents: The Water’s Safe


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The safety of drinking water is back in the news and Verona’s township manager, Matthew Cavallo, issued a statement Wednesday to reassure residents that Verona’s water is safe.

“The Township of Verona does not now and has never received water from the City of Newark,” the statement said. “Verona’s water is a combination of water produced from our own wells and water purchased from the Passaic Valley Water Commission.”

Two weeks ago, Newark was forced to distribute bottled water to many residents after testing determined that lead was still showing up in drinking water, even though Newark had distributed of faucet water filters to remove it. On Monday, Newark announced an ambitious $120 million plan to replace 18,000 lead service lines in just 30 months instead of the 10 years that city officials had previously estimated the work would take.

Service lines are the pipes that take water from a water mains to the pipes that bring water into a house. In the past, the service lines were generally made of lead. (Inside a house, water is generally carried in copper pipes or, in newer construction, so-called PEX piping.)

While lead service lines are no longer permitted in new development, many cities have been slow to replace existing lines. The Environmental Defense Fund has estimated that 6 to 10 million homes across the U.S. still have lead service lines.

Almost none of them are to Verona homes, however. According to Chuck Molinaro Sr., the head of Verona’s Department of Public Works, as Verona has reconstructed its streets over the years, it has replaced the lead service lines with galvanized pipe. “We’re in very good shape in Verona,” Molinaro adds.

Cavallo’s statement emphasizes the same. “Lead is not an issue in the treated water produced by the Township of Verona’s wells or in the water we purchase from the Passaic Valley Water Commission,” it reads. “Lead is also not an issue in the water mains in the Township’s distribution system.”

The statement also reminded residents that Verona routinely tests its drinking water and is compliant with all applicable state and federal standards. You can read all of Verona’s Water Quality Reports from 2009 to 2019 on the township website.

While the township is responsible for the service lines, homeowners should also inspect their interior piping and fixtures to make sure that they are lead-free. In April 2016, Verona tested all school water fountains and kitchen faucets for lead. The kitchen faucets were all found to be safe but several water fountains had to be replaced or remediated.

Molinaro says that the town can test interior water quality if a homeowner requests it. “We’re Verona,” he adds.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


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