There has been a public concern regarding the presence of lead in drinking water after the Flint crisis in Michigan such that a lot of cases have been reported on the issues from various cities in the country. New Jersey has fallen victim to the issues as lead has been discovered in several drinking water facilities within it. Water is contaminated with lead whereby lead leaches from the service lines that bring water into the main storage area. It is worth noting that children are the most affected when it comes to lead contamination; especially when exposed to old buildings with paintings containing lead; when drinking water and also when playing as some soil in residential areas tend to be contaminated with lead (Zahran et.al, 2013). The processes of mitigation and preparedness can be effective when employed by the New Jersey’s Newark school district in handling the discovery of lead tainted water in their public schools.
The law expects that the utilities in charge of supplying water carry out tests on water when it is leaving the treatment plant. Furthermore, tests are supposed to be taken on high risk areas for the purpose of decreasing the prevalence rate of lead. Therefore, the utilities are responsible for any lead present in their systems while owners of public and private properties are expected to manage their own fixtures and water pipes. This includes schools and municipalities who are expected to carry tests on their water. In a school such as the New Jersey’s Newark school district, the quality of water tends to be of high concern as most children consume the water present in their institution (Zahran et.al, 2013). Furthermore, when the schools are remain closed at night and during the weekends, chances are that more lead will enter the systems through the pipes through leaching. It is worth noting that the amount of lead across schools in New Jersey is not yet known despite of few cases of lead being reported lately (Zahran et.al, 2013).
As stated earlier, the processes of mitigation and preparedness can be effective when employed by the New Jersey’s Newark school district in handling the discovery of lead tainted water in their public schools. Mitigation entails a process of decreasing the harm on life by decreasing the effects associated with a particular element or factor. In our case, the threat is contamination of water by lead which may lead to various problems in the body. For mitigation to be effective, a problem has to be solved immediately to prevent its reoccurrence in future such that human life is not put at risk in addition to other burdens such as finances. The most important consideration is the view that problems are inevitable and, hence, early preparation needs to be done to prevent adverse consequences (Flora et.al, 2012).
For the mitigation process to be effective in New Jersey’s Newark school district, it is important for the individuals involved to take into consideration potential risks, analyze the daring choices and approach the whole process of solving the problem on a long-term perspective rather than short term. In other words, lack of mitigation implies that the safety of the children is at risk in addition to issues such as finance and self-management (Tchounwou, 2012). Some of the mitigation strategies that the school might employ include putting up strict policies in regards to testing water such that the water provided to the students is safe for consumption in addition to making frequent checks in the morning and during the weekends to ensure that leaching is prevented. Furthermore, other alternatives in regards to the materials used to make the fixtures and the pipes should be sought such that the risk imposed by lead is minimized. The materials should also be safe regardless of the cost as the health of the students is more important. Furthermore, decision should be made on a long-term basis rather than short-term to prevent more problems regarding lead consumption (Tchounwou, 2012).
Preparedness has to do with putting up measures that prevent the occurrence of an event. Each school in New Jersey is responsible for its water storage facilities and hence when it comes to preparedness, it has to develop strategies to be used in dealing with the contamination as soon as it occurs before harm is caused to the associated population (Zechman, 2011). In the cases of New Jersey’s Newark school district, frequent assessment or testing of its water facilities should be made to detect the presence of lead and purify them to minimize the chances for the contamination. Also, funds should be set aside for security purposes just in case there is need for the renewal of the facilities. In other words, the school should take full responsibility of ensuring that the safety of children is taken into consideration.
As stated earlier, the processes of mitigation and preparedness can be effective when employed by the New Jersey’s Newark school district in handling the discovery of lead tainted water in their public schools. Both mitigation and preparedness processes will assist the school to come up with strategies to deal with the contamination such that the risks associated with lead are minimized.