Newark partners with 120Water for post-lead replacement program

120Water, a digital water platform, has been selected by the City of Newark, New Jersey, to manage “The Newark Way of Thinking & Drinking,” a post lead service line (LSL) replacement program to ensure residents have clean, safe and reliable drinking water.

Newark began a 30-month LSL replacement program in 2019 with the goal of replacing approximately 18,000 LSLs that deliver drinking water to residents–at no cost to homeowners. The program is both highly complex and challenging given that water at the tap must be validated to be lead compliant six months after service lines are replaced, and Newark has a large population of renters who are transient and may not feel engaged with the effort.

120Water and Newark together developed a program, called ”The Newark Way of Thinking & Drinking,” to educate residents about the LSL replacement program and the actions they can take to reduce their exposure to lead in drinking water, and to increase the rate of return of water testing kits.

“Newark’s effort to proactively communicate to residents is a model of what a modern lead service line replacement program should be,” said Megan Glover, CEO of 120Water, which is used at more than 170,000 locations across the nation. “The six-month post replacement sampling validates if the line replacement has effectively removed the lead threat in the drinking water, and is crucial to the success of the program.”

The communications program developed by 120Water and Newark includes a variety of communication tactics to engage Newark residents, including a multi-step direct mail campaign with educational content, interactive games, and a viral program to encourage residents to share the clean water mission. There’s an emphasis on engaging kids in the community with puzzles, stickers, and games that make the subject of clean drinking water fun and educational.

Six months after an LSL is replaced, the 120Water solution triggers the mailing of a verification testing kit to residents with simple, step-by-step directions to fill the bottle and return it in the mailer provided. Results go directly to a state certified laboratory where they are analyzed. The verification and results are automatically tracked via 120Water’s cloud-based software, where the data can be leveraged to trigger follow-on communications if appropriate.

“Since tap water must be retested after a lead service line is replaced, we must rely on residents and landlords to ensure the testing takes place accurately and on time,” said Tiffany Stewart, Assistant Director at Newark’s Department of Water. “120Water serves as an extension of our staff to educate residents about the importance of the lead drinking water program, gain their cooperation, and ultimately create better public health.”

More information is available at and on Twitter @120_Water.

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