NEWARK, NJ — As the city of Newark works to get the lead out of water, Newark residents are working to bring more bottled water in.
The J.B. Dondolo Foundation, a charity based in Dallas, Texas, flew in Monday to donate six pallets of water. They’ve built water filtration systems for women and children in Zimbabwe.
"Since we’re all about water and found out there was a problem in New Jersey we coordinated with the Bishop to come here and bring water to this area as well," said Patricia Ellis.
Outside the church, residents signed in to collect free cases of water.
"This will be gone in a day, " said Paradise Baptist Church Bishop Jethro James.
Residents are hesitant to drink from water filters distributed by the city — even though recent testing found them to be 97% to 99% effective at reducing lead in drinking water.
"I’m really concerned about the faucet water," said one resident, who uses a filter at home. "We’ve been using it, but it’s not the same."
"I’d rather the bottled," said another resident, "until the system is fixed."
A city spokesman said Monday that they've now removed about 2,000 lead service lines.
“We put the financing and legislation in place to replace all 18,720 lead service lines – at no cost to residents – within 24 to 30 months. No major city has ever undertaken such a task with such expedience, and will complete it so quickly," said city interim communications director Mark Di Ionno.
Nevertheless, community organizers continue to express doubts, and therefore plan to continue distributing bottled water.
"We’re gonna give out this water," said Bishop James.