Newark, New Jersey, has halted bottled water distribution due to an oversight in the midst of a possible lead poisoning scare.

Newark has been battling the threat of lead contamination in its water for several years, with the city doing what it can to curb the levels since 2010. The latest scare came following EPA tests on Friday that confirmed two residents in the Pequannock service area had elevated lead levels in the water. It is believed that older plumbing and service lines are the cause for this, with the lead lining being released into the plumbing that provides water to residents home.

In response to this, Newark began distribution of bottled water to ensure people had uncontaminated water to drink or use as needed. However, distribution has now had to be suspended after an oversight sent out water past its “best-by” dates.

“We found out on Monday, after we started distributing the water, that the bottles were expired,” Newark Mayor’s Office spokesperson Frank Baraff said. “We immediately went back to the state and ordered more bottles.”

Baraff also said that while there’s no apparent threat from the water past its expiration date, the city suspended distribution on Tuesday morning until new bottles arrived as a precaution.

“Lead is so scary because you can’t see it, taste it or smell it and the effects are terrible, especially for young children and their brain development,” Newark resident Al Moussab said. “So it is nerve racking as both and teacher and a parent.”

Moussab, who also works as a teacher, is one of the people suing the city of Newark over the lead contamination and the apparent lackluster response to the potential crisis.

No. 14 Newark, New Jersey No. 14 Newark, New Jersey Photo: Reuters