FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --The city of Fresno is continuing to investigate problems of discoloration and lead contamination in the water of some homes in Northeast Fresno. The city maintains the problem is likely the result of faulty plumbing in older homes.
The issue of discolored water appears to be nothing new. In fact, the folks in one house tell Action News the city of Fresno has been providing them with bottled water and a dispenser since shortly after the moved in 23 years ago. But the city only came out and tested the water two weeks ago.
"They are telling us we have the best water here in Fresno, its pure and soft," said Lupe Meza.
Meza said back when the Brentwood homes were new, the entire neighborhood was complaining. The city's solution, provide bottled water.
Our reporter asked, "Why do you think the city started giving you bottled water?"
"To keep us quiet. Not to start nothing. To make us happy. I guess," said Meza.
The city's public utilities director, Thomas Esqueda, has been on the job two years. Last week he told us he's not sure why the city started giving folks water.
"I can't find any paper that documents the terms under which we are providing water is this. And so, the city made that commitment to you. I'm not going to change that until I determine why it is the water is turning red-- or discolored I should say. "
Meza said only about six of the original residents who get free water remain in the neighborhood.
In a report the city concluded Meza's problem was corroded pipes. The same thing other residents of Northeast Fresno have been hearing.
"We've been complaining to the city and they always tell us, it's not the water we are giving you, it's that we've got these inferior pipes," said Jeanette Grider, resident.
The problem is galvanized pipe will corrode, especially if improperly installed, or if the water is too corrosive. Federal law required lead-free pipes just two years ago. Now, most brand new plumbing uses a plastic type piping.
Esqueda said more than 100 homes with metal pipes have been tested as part of an investigation. About 30 had lead problems.
For now, Lupe is happy her granddaughter Mariah has clean, clear water to drink from the city provided bottle and dispenser.