In January, Mammoth Water District officials started to offer to test home tap water for lead after bi-annual tests showed elevated lead levels in some homes. Two months after the tests were initially offered, Water District staff continues to be confident that the lead is not in the water, but in the plumbing.
Twice a year, Water District staff tests 40 homes for lead. The state requires the Water District to take action when over 10%, in this case five homes, come back higher than the state allowed action level, 15 parts per billion. In January, five homes did come back high so the district offered to test homes for $10 a sample.
Erica Hegeman with the Water District reports that so far, about 40 people have asked to have their water tested. With the results still pending on about 20 of the water samples, Hegeman reports that so far the majority showed no lead in the water. Only one house in Old Mammoth was over the lead limit allowed by the State.
In January, Hegeman explained that the lead was not in the water, but that water in Mammoth is somewhat corrosive and can break down lead in solder that holds the pipes together and faucets together. In one of the homes that tested with elevated lead levels, Hegeman reports that the source could be narrowed down to one single faucet, which was actually brand new.
Solder in newer homes cannot contain more than .2% lead, but Hegeman says that the lead content standards on faucets, pipes, and plumbing material allow up to 8%.
To find out if lead is a problem in your home, the Water District continues to offer tests for $10 a water sample. For more information call 934-2596.