Mayor Adams drinks water at NYCHA complex after lab says no arsenic found

ByJohny Fernandez via WABC logo
Monday, September 12, 2022
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In a stunning reversal, New York City officials now say there was never any arsenic in the tap water at a NYCHA complex in the East Village. Johny Fernandez has the story.

EAST VILLAGE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Residents at the Jacob Riis houses are still picking up cases of water after a long week of uncertainty and not knowing if they could use their tap water.

"No, I won't be able to, I won't be able to. The only thing I'd do is shower," said Doreen Feliciano.

"I don't think I'd use it for a while," said resident Leana Parrilla.

The water at the Jacob Riis Houses - often cloudy and with a metallic taste, tested positive in recent weeks for arsenic, a dangerous chemical sometimes found in minerals. This week, the Mayor's Office said the lab which conducted the tested messed up - the company claims it somehow introduced the arsenic into the samples.

After rigorous testing on new samples - and the original sample, all tests have come back negative for arsenic.

ALSO READ | Water continues to test negative for arsenic at Manhattan NYCHA complex

Mayor Adams stopped by the Riis Houses to show residents that the water is, in fact safe.

"Our attorneys are looking at every legal action they could take. We put people through unnecessary levels of anxiety. We're looking at every legal recourse," Adams said.

Residents say despite the testing, the tap water still isn't clear. City officials re now stepping in and explaining why the water could look like that.

"It's important for all New Yorkers to realize, cloudy water is not usually a sign of anything wrong. There might be air trapped in a pipe somewhere, maybe somebody did a repair - two people flushed the toilet at the same time, honestly all of those things can create air bubbles," said Chief Climate Officer of NYC, Commissioner of NYC Environmental Protection Rohit Aggarwal.

The Mayor's Office says that it will continue its investigation and take further action.

Residents say they are still hesitant to drink the water.

Click here to read the full report from Environmental Monitoring and Technologies, Inc.

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