Lab: Arsenic readings in public housing water were incorrect

September 9, 2022 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) — A lab that said it found higher than acceptable levels of arsenic in drinking water at a New York City public housing complex said Friday those results were incorrect.

Tenants at the 1,700-unit Jacob Riis Houses in Manhattan’s East Village were told not to drink or cook with the water from their taps over the recent holiday weekend.

But on Friday, Environmental Monitoring and Technologies said it had retested the original sample using a different method and found that the results for arsenic reported on Aug. 26 and Sept. 1 were incorrect. The tests were ordered after tenants reported seeing cloudy water coming from their taps.

“Based on our investigation, we believe any contamination for arsenic found in these specific samples to be at trace levels, well below” the federal maximum contaminant level, the company said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Mayor Eric Adams said the city was still urging residents to refrain from using the water for cooking or drinking out of an abundance of caution, while results from separate tests are pending. Initial tests have come back negative.

“Needless to say, neither NYCHA nor any other city agency will test water through Environmental Monitoring and Technologies any longer, and the city intends to pursue all available legal options on behalf of the residents of Riis Houses,” spokesperson Fabian Levy said in a statement.