Angely Mercado

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Ridgewood‘s unfiltered tap water has the highest lead levels in Queens. 

A recent report in QNS outlined that the September 2018 study was conducted by the New York City Independent Budget Office. Neighborhoods in Community District 5, which includes Ridgewood, Glendale and Maspeth, had more than 6 percent of samples above the “action level” set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Unfortunately, the study also outlined that the city’s Department of Environmental Protection isn’t required to take action unless 10 percent or more of all samples in the city are above the EPA limit.

The department recommends that property owners remove lead from internal plumbing and suggests that Ridgewood residents should run the tap water for 30 seconds after it hasn’t been used for a few hours. 

Anyone who lives in or near Ridgewood’s historic district should take extra precautions since lead pipes are more likely to be found in and around old buildings. Other precautions that residents can take include buying bottled water, installing a reverse osmosis filter into a sink or buying a pitcher with a reusable filter. 

Anyone who is especially concerned can order a free lead testing kit from the Department of Environmental Protection or have their lead levels tested at a doctor’s office. 

That being said, New York City’s tap water is some of the cleanest in the country and it is often tested for quality. There is some cause for concern, but it is still generally safe to use Ridgewood’s water. 

Cover photo courtesy of Imani

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