Northeast Fresno residents expressing concern about drinking water

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The city sent flyers to 45,000 households this month. So far about 1,000 have responded, and the city is in the process of testing homes for lead contamination. (KFSN)

A growing number of Fresno residents are expressing concerns about their water. The city sent flyers to 45,000 households this month. So far about 1,000 have responded, and the city is in the process of testing homes for lead contamination from their plumbing.

Like many residents of Northeast Fresno, Jonathan Weibe became concerned when he heard about the potential for lead in his homes water. He had noticed some discoloration and called the city for a free test.

"It was fairly easy to schedule an appointment. They were very willing to put me on the list and about a week later got a call, set it up to come up."

About two weeks after two faucets were tested, he received a 25-page report indicating lead was not present in a significant amount.

"Ours was 0.0005 Mgl., whatever that means," said Weibe.

So far, of the 4,000 or so homes tested, 50 had lead in the water-- lead above the Federal action standard. The lead comes from galvanized pipes and metal fixtures which have rusted because of corrosive city water.

The city has not indicated how many had less than the action level and as Woodward Lakes resident Faith Nitscke reminded the city council this week, "The safe level for lead in your drinking water is zero."

Because of that, many residents are having all their plumbing replaced. But Lance Marks, of All Star Plumbing, said that's not always necessary.

"Usually, it's either leaching from galvanized pipes or your water heater. So you can just take different steps instead of spending a bunch of money to re-pipe your house."

Marks said all the pipes may not be bad. Residents who've had galvanized pipes replaced with modern plastic said its about $10,000, but Marks said jobs are not always that much money.

Wiebe is still concerned about his pipes, even though the city didn't find a significant amount of lead, he doesn't want to put his wife and child in danger.

"At this point, we don't drink the water anymore, you know, we either have bottled water-- we are thinking about getting a water service or something like that. Even though it states here it's fine, with all the news, we just don't drink the water anymore."

The city is experimenting with different levels of calcium in the water and believes it is reducing corrosion. The city is expected to issue a report on Monday on the latest testing results.
Related Topics:
societydrinking watercontaminated waterfresnoFresno - Northeast
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