San Bruno to replace lead pipesBy Mary F. Albert
Since San Bruno's Public Works Department conducted water quality tests in July on 72 homes with lead pipes, the only home found to have unhealthy levels of lead has received a new set of service lines, according to the department.
Test results for the city's 71 other homes eased the city's concerns that replacing chlorine with chloramines to disinfect water is causing service lines to leach lead into the system, said Phillip Smith-Hanes, San Bruno's interim deputy public works director.
"The results confirmed for us that there is not a problem with chloramines interacting with lead," he said.
But just to be safe, the department plans to replace all of the city's lead service pipes within the year, said Smith-Hanes.
Because in-house staff instead of contractors will conduct the work, the department does not have a fixed schedule for replacing the lines.
"We will remove them as we have time available," said Smith-Hanes.
Lead pipes are common in homes built before World War II because of early building practices. San Francisco and some other Peninsula cities have removed most of them. However, lead pipes, fittings and soldering still exist in some older homes scattered around San Bruno.
Even though the city replaced the service lines for the Cypress Avenue home found to have unhealthy levels of lead, residents are still living with unsafe water because of soldering inside the home, said Smith-Hanes.
Copyright ©2004 Peninsula Examiner. Published 12/08/2004.