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2020 Update: How has the Newark’s Lead Water Crisis Affected Residents? 


Hi my name is Tamalie Ranatunga and I am a student at NJIT studying architecture. Newark has been my place of residence during my five years in college -its history, culture and resilience brought continuous inspiration to my practice in architecture. The Lead Water Crisis has created hardship for affected residents and added strain to the already strained relationship between the community and its municipality. I am interested in articulating how this crisis has affected residents in different locations in Newark. 

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The levels of lead in Newark New Jersey’s drinking water are some of the highest recently recorded by a water system in the United States- placing affected residents in unknown health risk and additional financial demand. This crisis stems from the 2012 municipal action to change the water treatment of Pequannock Water Treatment Plant, which is one of two water distribution plants for Newark. I am following the daily lives of Newark Residents in South Ward and Branch Brook because I want to know how affluence effects resident’s management of contaminated drinking water in order to help my reader understand the injustice done to residents of lower economical means.  




African American