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Manteca water is safe
Lead levels a fraction of allowable thresholds
water art

Manteca has avoided drinking water quality issues plaguing some cities.
In a presentation being made Tuesday to the City Council at Mayor Steve DeBrum’s request to allay citizens’ concerns following the emergence of chloramine issues in Stockton and poisonous lead levels in Flint, Michigan, Public Works Director Mark Houghton will recap tests that show Manteca municipal water substantially surpasses federal standards.
Houghton in his report noted the city constantly monitors water by conducting tests for regulated constituents to make sure it is meeting all state and federal requirements. That entails samples from primary sources such as wells and the South San Joaquin Irrigation District treatment plant plus at random spots in the distribution system. Those inspections go as far as testing water from faucets in the kitchen sinks of homeowners.
Every three years, the city also tests for copper and lead.
Lead in large enough quantities can pose health risks especially to young children and pregnant women. The most common source of lead in drinking water is from laterals that contain lead and older plumbing fixtures. Houghton said they are found in older communities and aren’t a concern in Manteca.
The federal government requires remediation if a water system has lead levels exceeding 15 micrograms per liter or 15ug/L.  Extensive tests of 30 sample sites conducted last August showed 28 of 32 samples contained less than 1.0ug/L of lead. The remaining four samples were between 1.1 to 2.7ug/L, well below the 15ug/L limit.
Houghton said residents concerned they may have lead issues with older pipes in their homes can have their water tested at any independent lab for around $50.
Manteca uses liquid chlorine for disinfecting drinking water. The taste that its use may cause is typically eliminated by letting it sit awhile before drinking or shaking it. Former city water engineer — Diane Martin — used to put her tap water in a blender for a short time to dissipate the chlorine gas before drinking it if she was in a hurry.
Chloramine, a different form of chlorine, is used by some water systems with a high level of organics in their water. Given the quality of both well and surface water Manteca uses, Houghton said basic chlorine suffices.
More information on water quality in general or in the City specifically can be found at the following sources:
uor by calling the city’s Water Division at (209) 456.8466
The City Council meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

 To contact Dennis Wyatt, email