New York – New York City says the water at Jacob Riis Houses is safe to drink.
This comes after the city reversed a recent test that found arsenic in water at an East Village public housing estate.
The city later said that these test results were not accurate and that the testing company was responsible.
Mayor Eric Adams I went to Jacob Reese’s house on Saturday and shared a video on Twitter of him drinking water from the faucet.
He was joined by Health Commissioner Dr Ashwin Vasan.
Both enjoyed a glass of water.
“Together with our Director of Health and Mental Health, Dr. Vasan, and the rest of the team, we wanted to let the residents of Leith House know that it’s okay to drink water,” Adams said. It’s safe water.”
“We know the past eight days have been difficult for the residents of Jacob Leith House, but this morning the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reviewed the final contaminant test results and determined that the water was adequate for EPA drinking water. Since the first tests began in August, Leith House water has been free of discernible amounts of arsenic and is confident it meets EPA standards. We don’t ask the residents of the Leith House to do anything…so I already stopped by the Leith House and got myself some water,” Adams said in a statement.
Adams also said the city believes tests that detect Legionella are also inaccurate.
“As public health experts have noted, legionnaires’ disease is not transmitted through drinking water. We have not found any reported or confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease,” the mayor said.
As CBS2’s Christina Fan reports, this water could have been much safer to use. The city says the lab that provided the initial test results retracted its claims and, worse, admitted it was the lab that introduced arsenic into the samples.
Tempers flared inside the PS34 on Friday as angry tenants packed a public meeting for residents of the Jacob Reese House.
“You need to take good care of us,” said one resident.
They were trying to figure out the truth behind a week-long “no drinking” recommendation for tap water.
“There was a long line. It was like a concert. At one point they said they were full. I left and came back,” the resident said.
The first positive results for arsenic were announced just before midnight on September 2nd. Residents were told not to drink or cook from the tap after trace amounts of heavy metals were detected in the samples.
A follow-up test came back negative.
Now, the city says the lab that conducted the original test admitted its error and retracted the results.
NYCHA Chairman and CEO Gregory Russ said:
Russ said NYCHA is working to determine how to compensate residents for their mistakes.
“We thought these tests weren’t appropriate. But what do you know? We don’t have good conversations with residents and communities about issues with NYCHA,” Russ said. .
To read the Environmental Monitoring and Technologies statement, click here.