FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Plumbing crews work to solve the mystery of Northeast Fresno's colored water problems, but homeowners are still looking for answers.
In looking for the source of corrosive water in one home, the city had a plumbing crew dig up the service line from the water meter to the house.
This kind of corrosion the found is believed to be one reason the plumbing inside a growing number of homes is discoloring the water and disintegrating the pipes allowing lead and other substances from the pipes into the water.
Homeowner Rhonda Rifidi said the test confirms to her that the water is doing the same things to the pipes in her home.
"It's the water, the corrosive water that has been in my pipes for all of these years."
Jeanette Greider was among those watching the work. She lives about a mile north of where crews were digging Monday, and the orange water showed up in her neighborhood a few years ago. In addition to color, tests have found lead in her home and Rhonda's.
"We had lead above the action level, and the last test we had the lead was all below the action level, but there was still some lead."
Greider believes corrosive water from the city's Northeast Fresno water treatment plant is to blame. The city said it has treated the water with non-corrosive substances, but acknowledges it could have been diluted.
For Northeast Fresno resident Holly Carter, the fact that lead has been detected coming out of the faucets of at least 39 homes tested so far should be a call to action.
"The bottom line is, I said, 'look, you've got children under six and pregnant women drinking water with lead in it,' and any answer, other than we are going to fix this now is unacceptable to me."
Dave Pomaville, the Director of the Fresno County Health Department told the city council last week he doesn't believe mass testing is necessary because routine health department tests done on children have not shown a significant problem. But, Rhonda is concerned about her health, even though the city has been giving her bottled water for nine years. She wonders who is going to fix pipes in her home.
"I feel the city should pay, because I have been reporting it since the beginning along with my other neighbors and other neighborhoods."
The city said up to 20,000 homes could be affected to some degree.
They are trying to mitigate the situation by adding more non-corrosive chemicals now, but to the residents we spoke with the damage has been done.
Re-plumbing jobs cost from 10 to $50,000.
Anyone with colored water coming out of their taps is urged to contact the City of Fresno.