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Water agency says chance of Flint-type lead crisis in Tri-Valley is unlikely

Zone 7 Water Agency says local water is protected against lead leaching

With news of lead coursing through the drinking water system in Flint, Mich., a Tri-Valley regional water agency says local water is safe from such a crisis.

The Zone 7 Water Agency, the wholesale water provider for Tri-Valley cities such as Pleasanton, said in a news release last week that the lead levels in local water are monitored and carefully controlled.

"The Flint crisis is extremely unlikely to occur here," the agency said in a release.

Flint residents have been without drinking water for weeks after it was discovered lead had leached into the public water supply from corroded lead pipes. The corrosion was caused when the city switched drinking water sources and didn't put corrosion-control methods in place, despite safety requirements.

Zone 7 said the type of pipes used to deliver water in Northern California aren't susceptible to the type of damage that caused Flint's lead leaching, and the agency maintains corrosion-control methods that Flint's water department neglected due to budget problems.

Zone 7 also said it tests its water year-round, and per an EPA requirement, local water providers are required to monitor and provide regular reports on their corrosion-control systems. Zone 7 is also required to provide a consumer report to customers to give an update on drinking water test results.

While California requires all new homes to have lead-free plumbing, some older dwellings still have lead faucets or pipes. There is still a potential for isolated lead exposure in specific homes that have such plumbing.

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