Newark Completes Lead Service Line Replacement Program

Press Release
Newark Completes Lead Service Line Replacement Program
February 14, 2022

Newark, N.J.—The City of Newark’s Lead Service Line Replacement (LSLR) Program has completed nearly 24,000 replace­ments citywide in under three years at no cost to residents. On February 11, 2022, the city celebrated this project milestone with several prominent figures including Mayor Ras Baraka, Vice President Kamala Harris, EPA Admin­is­tra­tor Michael Regan, and Governor Phil Murphy.

This effort to provide clean, safe, and reliable drinking water to all Newark residents initially began in March 2019 as an 8-10-year program. By September 2019, a $120 million bond from Essex County removed the cost for residents and the program’s timeline was reduced to three years. Newark was able to pivot from a public health crisis to a national model for other cities to follow for managing lead exposure in drinking water. This celebration comes on the heels of the Bipartisan Infra­struc­ture Law, allocating $15 billion in federal funding for lead service line replace­ments and related activities across the country. 

As the program manager, CDM Smith was responsible for coor­di­nat­ing the individual replace­ments, tracking and sharing progress, filter distri­b­u­tion, and corrosion control treatment. This program also required careful coor­di­na­tion and commu­ni­ca­tion between the city, consultants, contractors, and residents. As a community-based project built on trust and safety, great emphasis was placed to reach, educate, get buy-in, and develop employment oppor­tu­ni­ties for Newark residents.  

“My sincerest thanks to the City of Newark for letting CDM Smith partner in this program,” said Brian Farrelly, a construc­tion manager at CDM Smith who managed day-to-day operations of the program. “Together, we have made a great accom­plish­ment in under three years! Newark is a model for all cities and water supply agencies challenged with lead line replacement in the upcoming years.”

“We came here…to highlight what you have accom­plished here in Newark as an example and a role model of what cities around our country are capable of doing, and I thank you for that,” said Vice President Harris at the event. 

“I’m proud to say [that] we recently completed an unprece­dented, Herculean task of replacing all the city’s 24,000 lead service lines in less than three years,” Mayor Baraka wrote in the Newark Star-Ledger on February 10, 2022. “No other city has replaced as many lines as fast and we are being touted as the ‘model city’ for lead line abatement.”

For additional information, please visit the city's project website: www.​newarklead­ser­vice­

CDM Smith is a privately owned engineering and construc­tion firm providing legendary client service and smart solutions in water, environment, trans­porta­tion, energy and facilities. Passionate about our work and invested in each other, we are inspired to think and driven to solve the world's envi­ron­men­tal and infra­struc­ture challenges.

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