At the end of 2015, Flint, Michigan, declared a state of emergency due to the high levels of lead detected in the city's drinking water. This discovery spurred shock across the country and mounted investigations into lead in nearly every state. The danger of lead contamination is real, and it's proving to be far more challenging to deal with than experts anticipated.
However, homeowners in Santa Cruz, California, can take action now to help protect themselves and their families from the threat of lead in the water they use for drinking, washing and bathing.
How dire is the threat?
With all of the hysteria surrounding this topic, it can be difficult to root out how big - or small - the threat is in your area. The problems have even spread to the Santa Cruz County area. According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, a state report found that Central Coast customers have some of the poorest water quality in coastal California. However, the city of Santa Cruz fared well, even with its surface stream sources. The fact that local watersheds aren't as developed as other areas could be a factor in cleaner water and better quality for the public.
What can be done?
Although Santa Cruz has been given a passing grade, homeowners should still consider taking action to ensure they prevent contamination from occurring. It'll be important to verify if your plumbing lines are not made up of lead pipes, especially for owners of older homes. You should also check faucets, fittings and soldering to ensure that they aren't being corroded. For newer homeowners, your fixtures must meet new lead-free requirements, so you'll instead want to do some digging into public suppliers and what they use to deliver their water.
No matter what type of home you live in, there are a few other things that you can do to keep your water clean. Use a water filter and regularly testing your water. It's important to note that lead release is often sporadic, and it will take multiple tests to determine if you're at risk of contamination.
Whether you want to replace your pipes or determine your risk factor for lead, your local Santa Cruz Roto-Rooter plumbing expert can help you out. These professionals can not only update your system, but they can also conduct tests to identify your lead levels.