The New Jersey city’s lead contamination crisis has been more than three years in the making – and residents feel officials have been slow to act

On a steaming August afternoon in Newark, New Jersey, a stream of cars parked in front of the Boylan Street recreation center. Typically, they would be driven by parents, dropping off kids hoping to take advantage of the last days of summer at the giant pool, or to play basketball or tennis. But these people were coming for a different reason. The center had become a hub for the distribution of drinkable water.

Those who come with proof of Newark residency can get two cases of 24 half-liter bottles. Each address is given two cases, regardless of how many people live there. Sweating workers, hired by the city, help residents get water to their cars.

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Read More 'Damage has been done': Newark grapples with water crisis echoing Flint’s

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