Scandals, Violations, and Cover-Ups: How New Orleans Hid Its Growing Lead Problem

Lies, Inadequate testing, and a premature birth. These are just some of the elements of a New Orleans Water Department scandal that had lasted for over a decade. Now, Independent researchers, state officials, and communities are rallying together to hold the city’s water department responsible for the corruption it had harbored for all of the years.

An eye-opening article from BuzzFeed News revealed that the city had been unable to accurately track water tests it had conducted and botched results on water supplies being tested for levels of lead when they were received. According to witnesses and ex-workers, all employees knew about the numerous cover-ups and were complicit. Since the New Orleans Water Department did not keep accurate track of lead pipe locations and removals, they were unable to warn residents of the possible lead contamination present within their drinking water. 

In fact, during this corrupted period, a couple living with their prematurely born twins had to take multiple precautions as lead contaminated water is especially harmful for young children as brain growth can be corrupted with lead particles. In 2017, the New Orleans Water Department eventually removed the lead lined water pipes from the couples home, leaving their sidewalk cracked. Since then, the couple has moved out of the area but to this day many of their old neighbors still have to face possible lead contamination within their drinking water supplies.

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