Jersey City’s Lead Free JC Initiative Begins Residential Lead Service Line Replacement

Lead Service Line Replacement Jersey City
Lead Service Line Replacement Jersey City image courtesy of leadfreeJC.com

Jersey City, NJ – The Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority (JCMUA) has initiated its residential lead service line replacement program, following a successful 4-year project aimed at ensuring safe drinking water in the city’s public schools. In collaboration with the Fulop Administration and Board of Education, this comprehensive effort underscores the commitment to addressing lead concerns within the community.

Jose Cunha, Executive Director of the JCMUA, articulated the significance of this endeavor: “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.”

The JCMUA’s “Lead Free JC” program prioritizes areas with a high prevalence of lead, focusing on sensitive populations and overburdened communities. The initial phase of this initiative has already commenced, with work underway on Jewett Avenue, York Street, and Randolph Avenue.

Key points for residents to know about the lead service line removal process, as explained by the JCMUA:

  1. Service lines connect homes to the water main in the street. The city’s drinking water is safe, but some service lines are made of lead, which can pose a future risk of lead exposure. The JCMUA will replace these lead service lines.
  2. Residents in targeted areas will receive an agreement package by mail, containing a Right of Entry Agreement and information about the removal process. The Right of Entry Agreement must be signed and returned before work can commence.
  3. A contractor will visit homes to identify the service line’s location within the property.
  4. Work will include the complete replacement of the existing line. This involves accessing the service line from inside the home and in the street in front of the resident’s home. While there will be minimal disruption inside the home, the water may be shut off for up to eight hours during the process.
  5. After replacement, the street will be restored, and residents will receive a post-replacement guide with instructions on flushing pipes, cleaning faucet aerators, and collecting water samples for testing. A water quality test kit will be provided 3-6 months after replacement.

The prevalence of lead service lines is a nationwide concern, with up to 10 million households in the United States having lead pipes and service lines. In New Jersey, there are an estimated 350,000 lead service lines, one of the highest numbers in any state.

All properties with lead service lines will be included in upcoming construction contracts for replacement over the next eight years. The JCMUA aims to replace an average of 2,000 lead service lines annually. To help residents determine whether their property has a known lead service line, a service line inventory has been created based on recent inspections. Additional information and resources can be found in the newly released video and on the leadfreejc.com website.

For further information or questions, residents can contact the JCMUA’s Lead Free Support Center at leadfreejc@jcmua.com or reach a customer service representative at (201) 365-6189. Jersey City remains committed to ensuring safe drinking water for its residents through this proactive lead service line replacement initiative.