Here’s how to end the Newark water crisis – and prevent the next one

Drinking water

DAN O’FLAHERTY and ALEXANDER VAN GEEN / STAR-LEDGER – Making Newark’s tap water safe to drink won’t do much good unless people believe that the water is safe and resume drinking it and using it normally. Once the treatments to keep lead from leaching into water (known as anti-corrosives) become effective for the flows from the Pequannock (the affected reservoir), a simple announcement won’t suffice because many Newarkers no longer trust official statements about the water. The crisis won’t really be resolved until almost everyone goes back to using Newark water regularly, and no report or announcement is going to make that happen any time soon, even if the anti-corrosives are successful …

Dan O’Flaherty and Alexander van Geen are professors at Columbia University. 

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