FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --The City of Fresno has detected lead in the water of nearly 40 percent of the homes tested so far. The city mailed out more than 45,000 water quality surveys. So far, more than 800 have been returned and nearly all reported having discolored water-- a sign there's potential for lead in the water.
Real estate professionals said it's something anyone buying or selling a home in the affected area needs to be aware of. One of the homes is for sale in a neighborhood where discolored water and lead contamination has been detected in homes. One major company, Guarantee Real Estate, is now advising anyone buying or selling a home in the affected area to disclose they are aware of the potential problem.
Realtor Paula Jacobs explains,"If someone were to make an offer on this house and the seller accepted the offer, there is a form that both the seller and the buyer sign so that they are aware the house is in the parameter of the water issue that this house falls within this district."
The district is roughly bounded by Copper, Alluvial, Willow, and Highway 41.
While not all real estate companies are requiring this, attorney Russel Cook notes sellers must reveal any material defect or problem with their property .
"If it's something material, and I think brown water coming out of a pipe is a material fact that should be disclosed."
So far the city has tested 279 homes for lead, of those-- 40 had lead above the federal action level of 15 parts per billion-- 70 had levels below. That's 40 percent with lead, and health experts said there is no safe level of lead exposure.
Jeanette Grider's home in the Ft. Washington area has tested for lead and said coming in below the action level isn't exactly a relief.
"You think somebody is going to buy my house if the lead was only below the action level? Would you?"
The water coming out of most faucets in the house for sale appeared clear, but the tub faucet showed a little reddish color which cleared up after running a short time.
The federal action level for lead is not a health level. If the city finds lead in more than 10-percent of what they've tested above the action level then they are required to take action to reduce corrosion in their water system, something the city is trying to do.