The Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority has begun replacing lead service lines throughout the city as part of their “Lead Free JC” program.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“The Jersey City MUA is following our successful lead remediation efforts at our schools by proactively removing all residential lead service lines, with an ambitious goal to replace all of the nearly 16,000 lead service lines throughout Jersey City by June 2031,” Jersey City MUA Executive Director Jose Cunha said in a statement.
“As this vital project begins we want to give our homeowners and residents a full understanding of the entire lead service line removal procedure from start to finish so that they feel comfortable throughout this arduous process, knowing we are working hard to ensure their safety.”
The JCMUA will now target residential infrastructure based on prevalence of lead, sensitive populations and overburdened communities.
For example, work has begun on Jewett Avenue, York Street, and Randolph Avenue, officials said today.
Property owners will have the option of either having their service lines replaced by JCMUA contractors, or hiring their own contractor to replace the lines and then applying for the authority’s credit program to recoup the costs.
When JCMUA is ready to start work in a specific area, those residents will receive an agreement package in the mail that contains a Right of Entry Agreement, as well as information about the lead service line removal process.
The Right of Entry Agreement must be signed and returned to the MUA before work can begin. From there, a contractor will schedule a visit to the home to identify where the service line comes into the property.
Work will be scheduled and will include the replacement of the existing line. This entails accessing the service line from inside the home and in the street in front of the resident’s home.
Disruption inside the home will be minimal, however work will require the water to be shut off for up to eight hours.
After replacement, the street will be restored and a post replacement guide will be provided that includes instructions on how to flush pipes, clean faucet aerators, and to collect a sample of drinking water results.
Finally, a water quality test kit will be provided three to six months after the replacement is completed.
Up to 10 million households in the United States have lead pipes and service lines, and there are an estimated 350,000 lead service lines in New Jersey, among the highest of any state.
All properties with lead service lines will be included in upcoming construction contracts for replacement over the next eight years. Additionally, the JCMUA expects to replace an average of 2,000 lead service lines per year.
A service line inventory has been created based on recent inspections, which residents can use to determine whether their property has a known lead service line.