NUTLEY, NJ - Nutley Mayor and Public Works Commissioner Joseph P. Scarpelli addressed concerns about Newark’s lead in the water situation during the Tuesday, Aug. 20 Board of Commissioners public meeting.  Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci was absent excused.

A moment of silence was held for lifelong resident, Nutley matriarch, Ruth G. Bedford, who died at the age of 101 on Monday, Aug. 19, 2019 at her home. See obituary.

Scarpelli said, “We lost one of our outstanding citizens this past week. [..] Mrs. Bedford gave her time, energy, [and] money to a wide variety of causes and organizations. […] I think she is going to be missed in this town.”

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Public Affairs Commissioner Steven L. Rogers said, “I remember my wife and I were over at Ruth Bedford’s house and we were talking about politics. What I was amazed over is when she began to speak to my wife and I about the time she had worked at the White House with President Dwight Eisenhower. The history that this woman had was fascinating.” He added, “Always a role model and very pleasant, kind human being.”

Public Safety Commissioner Alphonse Petracco said, “I can remember her coming to my bar/restaurant at the time in Lyndhurst and the first thing she ordered was a scotch. […] A woman who opened up her pocketbook for anyone and anything. When you think about Nutley, you think about being in her house no matter what side of the aisle you were on, who you're friends with, she always greeted you with that warm fuzzy welcome.”

Revenue and Finance Commissioner Thomas J. Evans said, “This week I lost a dear friend. She’s always been an advisor. She is a lady who I always said publically is the grande dame of Nutley. If we ever had a sense of somebody who was royalty, it was Ruth Bedford. But she cared about everyone equally, […] she was blind to color, she was blind to gender, she was blind to orientation; she had such a zest for wanting to be with people. […] She would light up when she was talking to young people and it was a new friendship she was creating. […] I lost a very a very dear friend this week.” Scarpelli added, “We all did, and Nutley lost a friend.”

Newark Water Update

Scarpelli gave an updated the Commissioner and residents on lead in the Newark’s water and its effect on Nutley.

There are 436 homes in Nutley, out of about 8,000 residences that receive Newark water. According to Scarpelli, they are located on the western portion of town, between Glenview Avenue and Centre Street above Ridge Road; and from Centre Street to about Harrison Street above Van Winkle Avenue.

Lead is only introduced into the water supply by the internal plumbing or through service lines. “The water we receive from Newark is lead free,” said Scarpelli.

Scarpelli said letters were sent out to those residents who received Newark water as a precaution. PUR filters were also distributed to those residents. Residents who did not receive a notice directly from the township are not affected and do not receive Newark water.

The Department of Public Works suggests all residents run their water for one to two minutes, especially in the morning, to introduce fresh water into the home.  The department also encourages residents to continue using their water, flushing toilets and taking showers, to fully introduce the new treatment of orthophosphate into the internal plumbing.

Nutley also had high levels of the disinfection byproduct haloacetic acid in the water and Newark is addressing the issue by adding a potassium permanganate treatment.

Residents should not boil water to reduce lead. When water is boiled, the lead concentration of the water can increase. 

Nutley is holding a free lead screening for children up to the age of 18 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at the Nutley Heath Department, 149 Chestnut St.

Scarpelli said until all testing in the township is complete residents who are pregnant and have small children should use bottled water for drinking, cooking and preparing baby formula.


Refunds of over payment of 2019 tax charged were granted to the residents at 81 Hastings Ave. for $4,021.74 and 9 Russell Ave. for $2,658.66.

Public Comment

Rory Moore of Nutley asked if Nutley is going to participate in the New Jersey Municipal Salary Survey performed by the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.  Commissioner Evans said he doesn’t see why the township wouldn’t but he is unaware if they were asked to participate yet.

The next Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3.