Lab testing Northeast Fresno water samples for lead

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The city is reaching 15 to 20 homes a day, but there are hundreds of homes which need to be tested. (KFSN)

The city of Fresno continues to take water samples from homes in Northeast Fresno where lead is a concern. The city is reaching 15 to 20 homes a day, but there are hundreds of homes which need to be tested.

This lab in Downtown Fresno has been testing water samples from throughout the Valley for years.

"We are a full service drinking water laboratory. We do everything from microbiology, inorganics, metals, organics, all of that good stuff you find in our lovely Valley water," said Mickey Lear, Client Services BSK Associates.

The latest concern is over lead in water caused by corrosion in plumbing. It's not yet clear if it's the city's water, the treatment process, the pipes used in plumbing, or a combination of factors. But residents are concerned and the city is using this lab to test samples.

Lead has been detected in about a quarter of the 400 or so homes tested. The city is continuing to sample 15 to 20 homes a day, but residents can have their own testing done at the lab.

"They can come into the office and we will provide them with containers to sample their water in. So basically, they just need to come in with questions, we can provide them with containers, paper work, and the sampling instructions that all encompass testing for lead," said Lear.

The tests require a bit of planning.

"They want the water to sit in the pipes for a minimum of six hours usually. We recommend the water set overnight in the pipes and then do a first draw, which means no water wasted it goes directly into the bottle," said Lear.

Their equipment can detect even the smallest quantities of lead or other metals or other substances that become a concern. Lab Director Brad Meadows said the focus is always changing.

"It varies depending on something that might pop up on the news. Typically where it may be lead today, it was hexavalent chromium not too long ago. You never know what the next concern is."

While the city will do the sampling and testing for free it could take three or four weeks to schedule, then another 10 days for the results. Doing it yourself can be quicker, but will cost $75.
Related Topics:
newsdrinking watercontaminated waterfresnoleadFresno - NortheastFresno - Downtown
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