Data Shows San Diego Officials Misled the Public on Potential Source of Lead in Water

Photo by Will Huntsberry

The city isn’t sure what 192,000 of its water lines are made of. No other major California cities have such a massive gap in recordkeeping – one that could cost the city between $192 million and $960 million if it doesn’t take drastic steps to account for the make of those lines in the next 18 months.

Over the past two years, amid growing worry about lead in drinking water, officials from the city of San Diego’s water department have said none of the city’s water lines are made of lead.

Yet new data reveals that city water officials have repeatedly misled the public about what they know and don’t know, and that the city isn’t sure what 192,000 of the department’s lines are made of.

The department can’t account for the material contained in two-thirds of 285,000 service lines that connect the city’s big water mains to customers’ homes and businesses.

“Wow, that is a lot,” said Kurt Souza, the state Water Resources Control Board’s assistant deputy director for drinking water operations in Southern California.

That means not only are there potentially unknown public health issues in San Diego, if some of the lines are made of lead, but the city is facing a massive liability that could cost ratepayers nearly $1 billion in coming decades. If the lines are made of lead, or even if the city doesn’t know what they are made of, the city must to pay to replace them under a new state law.

No other major […]

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Hillsborough School District found lead in its water, didn’t tell parents for a year.

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What Nashville’s Metro Schools Isn’t Telling You About Lead In Water

Gov. Brown Signs Bill Requiring California Water Districts to Test School Water for Lead

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Data Shows San Diego Officials Misled the Public on Potential Source of Lead in Water
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Data Shows San Diego Officials Misled the Public on Potential Source of Lead in Water
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New data reveals city officials repeatedly misled the public about what they know and don't know; the city isn't sure what 192,000 water lines are made of.
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Voice of San Diego
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